China’s most famous political prisoner, the Nobel laureate and democracy icon Liu Xiaobo passed away in custody following a battle with cancer. He was 61.
Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.
About Liu Xiaobo
Liu was a Chinese literary critic, writer, human rights activist who called for political reforms and end of communist single-party rule. He is also known for his role in 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing.
Liu was arrested in 2008 after co-writing Charter 08, a bold petition that called for the protection of basic human rights and reform of China’s political system. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in December 2009 on the charges of subversion.
During his fourth prison term, he was awarded 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He was first Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China. At the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony held in Oslo in 2010 he was represented by an empty chair.
Note: Liu is the third person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi (1991). He was also the second Nobel Peace laureate died in custody (first being Ossietzky who died in a Nazi concentration camp).