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Senator Dorgan Says Chinese Government's Continued Imprisonment Of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Is Shameful

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), says the Chinese government should be profoundly ashamed for keeping Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo in a Chinese prison cell while the rest of the world celebrates his Nobel Peace Prize.

Dorgan says Liu's eleven-year sentence in a Chinese prison, received after advocating for peaceful democratic political reform in China, is a disgrace.

Dorgan has special words of praise for Liu Xiaobo, saying, "Today most of the world celebrates a champion of democratic principles worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite constant harassment and persecution by the Chinese government, Liu has continued to fight for fundamental freedoms and human rights in China, and he undoubtedly deserves today's honor and our support."

Chinese authorities have prevented many of China's leading scholars and lawyers from traveling to Oslo to attend today's Nobel award ceremony, and have censored unauthorized references to Liu on the Internet and blocked access to news about Liu and the Nobel Prize from outside China. Since the Nobel Committee first announced in October that Liu would receive the Nobel Peace Prize, there have been well over 100 documented incidents in which Chinese citizens have been harassed, interrogated, subjected to police surveillance, detained or placed under house arrest for their expressions of support for Liu.

The Chinese government has also severely limited Liu's wife's contact with the outside world, including her phone and Internet connections, keeping her virtually incommunicado under what appears to be house arrest.

"The Chinese government disgraced itself today by its continued imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo, and by prohibiting Liu's family and friends from traveling to Oslo to accept the honor in his place," Dorgan said. "Today should have been a day of celebration in China. But the Chinese government's deplorable mistreatment of Liu Xiaobo, his wife, Liu Xia, and the human rights defenders they epitomize instead made today a very dark day for the rule of law in China."

As Chairman of the CECC, Senator Dorgan has held numerous hearings examining human rights and rule of law development in China. The CECC's Annual Report is among the most comprehensive, public examinations of human rights and the rule of law in China produced by the U.S. government.

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