Washington, D.C. -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the announcement that prominent Chinese dissident and activist Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Last year, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power" after he authored Charter 08, an online petition by Chinese citizens calling on the Chinese government to improve its policies on democracy and human rights:
"As this year's recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo joins the pantheon of great leaders for non-violence, justice, and freedom throughout history.
"Liu Xiaobo is a champion for the best hopes of humankind, a courageous advocate for democracy and human rights in China, whose only crime was putting his political views into writing. His message of reform is an inspiration to the entire world. He and fellow activists deserve the attention and partnership of freedom-loving people everywhere.
"I continue to call for Liu Xiaobo's immediate and unconditional release, and for the Chinese government to adhere to its own constitution and respect the rights of the Chinese people."