European Parliament discussed today about the situation of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mr Liu Xiaobo. In her speech Heidi Hautala underlined that the Prize serves as a reminder to the international community that need of reform in China remains urgent. She expressed her gratitude of being one of those invited on behalf of the laureate to the Award Ceremony in Oslo on 10th of December. [:]
Below, please see her statement in full;
Awarding the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to the Chinese human rights and democracy advocate and drafter of popular Charter ’08, Mr Liu Xiaobo, testifies to the personal cost of a human rights advocacy in China today.
Beijing court sentenced Liu to an 11-year prison term on 25th of December 2009, after holding him incommunicado since 8th of December 2008.
It is imperative that he, and all other human rights defenders in China, be released immediately.
Liu Xiaobo is of course not the only pressing case in China. I remain painfully aware of the situation of Mr Dhondup Wangchen.
He has been sentenced to prison after making a film “Leaving Fear Behind.” He suffers from Hepatitis B and is in need of urgent of medical attention.
Nobel Peace Prize, most of all, puts into highlight, the dire state of human rights in China.
In particular, the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Xiaobo must be considered as a strong support for the struggle for the freedom of expression in China.
The Prize serves as a stark reminder to the Chinese authorities that the universality of human rights can never be trounced.
It, however, also serve as a reminder to the international community – the need for reform in China is urgent.
Even Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has warned that China “may lose what it has already achieved through economic restructuring” without similar political restructuring.
Moreover, delay in such reform has a terrible human cost.
It is telling, that the view of the Chinese authorities on Liu Xiabao contrasts strikingly with the Nobel Committee.
Pressuring of the countries to stay away from the Peace Prize ceremony shows that China has not matured into an international actor.
Denouncing the work of Mr Liu signals that China can still be petrified of one man.
China is a superpower; it should start acting like one.
I am most honoured to be one of those who have been invited, on behalf of the laureate and his family, to the Award Ceremony in Oslo on 10th of December.