Friday, October 8, 2010
2010 Nobel Peace Prize Liu Xiaobo Urges President to Press
VOCMF Urges Obama to Press PRC for Immediate Release of Liu Xiaobo
Statement by Dr. Lee Edwards
Chairman, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
The awarding of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo affords President Obama the opportunity to keep faith with his recent UN address on the importance of human rights and to press the People's Republic of China for the immediate release of Dr. Liu, who has languished in jail for nearly two years since signing the pro-democracy Charter '08.
Eager to take its "rightful" place among the community of nations and cognizant of the global importance of the Nobel Prizes, Beijing will find it difficult to reject a strong personal appeal from President Obama, last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner.
In making such an appeal, Mr. Obama will also erase much of the negative impact left by Secretary of State Clinton on her 2009 trip to China when she said that human rights would be assigned a low priority in her discussions with China. Her remarks demoralized Chinese pro-democracy activists. However, a strong push for the release of Dr. Liu will reassure freedom fighters in China that America remains a firm advocate of human rights.
We are in the middle of a political campaign in America in which President Obama is understandably playing a key role. But the president should take some time out from U.S. politics to secure a victory that would lift the spirits of human rights activists everywhere--the release of a true champion of liberty, Dr. Liu Xiaobo.