The Honorable Xi Jinping
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Zhongnanhai, Xichengqu, Beijing City
People’s Republic of China
Dear Mr. Xi,
As you have taken the first steps towards assuming the presidency of the People’s Republic of China, I respectfully urge you to release Dr. Liu Xiaobo, the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Prize Laureate, and his wife, Liu Xia.
On December 25, 2009, your government sentenced Dr. Liu to eleven years in prison for “inciting subversion.” The charges were based on his political essays and co-authorship of “Charter 08,” which called for full political reform in China based on the principles of human rights, freedom, and democracy. Shortly after the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Prize to Dr. Liu, the government placed Liu Xia under house arrest, where she remains cut off from the outside world.
During former Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States in 2011, he recognized that “a lot still needs to be done in China on human rights.” While we welcome such honest assessments, we hope that China’s new political leadership will move past merely recognizing the problem and seize this important opportunity to take concrete steps towards embracing the fundamental rights of all Chinese citizens. An essential first step is the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia.
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