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Five Nobel Laureates urge China to free fellow 'dissident' Liu Xiaobo

December 9, 2011 - Beijing

Five Nobel Peace Prize winners, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have called on China to release fellow laureate Liu Xiaobo from jail.

Liu, who won the prize last year, is serving an 11-year jail term for criticising Beijing and helping to write a pamphlet called 'Charter 08' that called for more democracy in China.

China regards him as a criminal and was angered by the Nobel committee's decision to honour him.

The five Nobel laureates along with other activists have organised a committee to campaign for Liu's release, the BBC reports.

"The international community seems to have forgotten that, a year after the award ceremony, Liu Xiaobo remains in prison in China and in harsh conditions," the committee said in its first statement.

"The committee calls on all those committed to freedom of thought and opinion to join the committee in its efforts to obtain the release of Liu Xiaobo," he added.

The group has expressed fears that Liu's family and friends are being silenced in a "wave of intimidation".

According to the report, other Nobel laureates involved in the effort include Iranian rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, anti-landmine campaigner Jody Williams, Northern Ireland campaigners Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams, and former Czech president Vaclav Havel.


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