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Chinese dissident's release urged at Nobel Peace summit

November 12, 2010

A Chinese democracy activist called for immediate release of Liu Xiaobo at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo
2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu XiaoboImage: AP/Kyodo News

The annual meeting of the Nobel Peace Prize laureates is being held this year in Hiroshima. During the three days of the meeting, participants are discussing a world free of nuclear weapons and the fate of their imprisoned fellow laureates.

This year's laureate, Liu Xiaobo, is serving an 11-year jail term on subversion charges for his role in advocating democracy.

The exiled Chinese democracy activist Wu'er Kaixi
Exiled Chinese democracy activist Wu'er KaixiImage: picture-alliance/dpa

Speaking on behalf of Liu Xiaobo, Wu'er Kaixi, a former student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, called on the summit to urge China to be "a responsible member of the international community". He said the first step for China would be to release Liu Xiaobo immediately and unconditionally.

Dalai Lama calls for Liu's release

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is attending the conference as well. He repeated his support for Liu at the beginning of his Japan visit last weekend, emphasizing that "Liu is not toppling the government, but trying to bring more openness, more accountability".

The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989
The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989Image: AP

The presence of the Dalai Lama and Chinese democracy activist Wu'er Kaixi in Japan this weekend coincide with China's President Hu Jintao's trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Yokohama. This could lead to further tensions between Tokyo and Beijing after a row over disputed islands.

A participant from the Burmese community in Japan called for the release of the 1991 Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, whose latest detention term expires Saturday.

In addition to the Dalai Lama, five other Nobel Peace laureates are taking part in the meeting. Among them are former chief of the UN atomic energy body Mohamed ElBaradei and Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer promoting human rights in Iran.

Last year's winner, US President Barack Obama, who will be in Japan for the Asian-Pacific summit at the weekend, will not attend the laureates' meeting because of "schedule problems", says the White House.

Author: Miao Tian (DPA, AFP, RTR)

Editor: Arun Chowdhury