PSPD People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
[Joint Statement] Mourning the death of Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo
- Int. Solidarity
- 2017.07.17 (15:15:19)
Mourning the death of Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo
We, undersigned South Korean NGOs (total 36 organizations), deeply mourn the death of the Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, and express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. On the 13th of July, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and China's representative human rights activist, Liu Xiaobo, died after many years of struggling against his illness. He was born in 1955, and has been fighting his life for democracy and human rights in China. Due to his criticism of the dictatorship of the Communist Party of China, Liu Xiaobo had to stay in prison for a long time and was not properly treated for the illnesses he had during his prison life. Only in June 2017, he was able to get treatment at the hospital after he was diagnosed with liver cancer. His death brings deep sadness to both Asia and the entire world who are seeking for the world that respects human rights.
Liu Xiaobo returned immediately from the United States when the Tiananmen protests broke out. The life of the human rights activist that started at this time was never stopped even in the continuing imprisonment and oppression. Liu Xiaobo chose to keep struggle inside China, even though he had several opportunities to seek political asylum. At the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, the Chairperson of the Nobel Committee said; “While others at this time are counting their money, focusing exclusively on their short-term national interests, or remaining indifferent, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has once again chosen to support those who fight for all." Unfortunately, no one was allowed to attend the ceremony because the Chinese authorities banned Liu Xiaobo and everyone involved from leaving the country.
There may be controversy about the reform plan proposed by Liu Xiaobo. But the Chinese government which has suppressed Liu Xiaobo's activities, imprisoned him, and failed to provide appropriate treatment is reprehensible. The Chinese government is expanding its military and economic influence throughout the world but its human rights situation on the ground continues to deteriorate. Liu Xiaobo's death brings attention on the reality of China, which prioritises power over human rights. After he was imprisoned in 2009, his spouse Liu Xia continues to be in a house arrest situation. The Chinese government should stop monitoring and suppressing Liu Xia immediately.
South Korean human rights groups are expressing our grave concerns on the ongoing human rights violations in China. We urge the Chinese government to immediately release political prisoners who were imprisoned due to the struggle for democracy and human rights in China. The Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party which are supposed to support and protect the people should not oppress and imprison human rights activists who struggle for the people.
We sincerely mourn his death with all people of the world who remember Liu Xiaobo. His life, which has never been defeated, will be eternally remembered as an example of a peaceful struggle to defend conscience in the face of state violence.
17 July 2017
36 South Korean Human Rights Organisations
Asian Dignity Initiative, Buddhist HumanRights Committee, Catholic Human Rights Committee, Civilian Military Watch, Civil Society Organizations Network in Korea, Collective Action for the Abolition of DRS. and OPS., Dasan Human Rights Center, Democratic Legal Studies Association, Gwang-Ju Human Rights Center Hwal JJak, Human Rights Center Saram, Human Rights Education Center ‘Deul’, Human Rights Movement Space 'Hwal', Human Rights Solidarity for New Society, Immigrants Advocacy Center Gamdong, Incheon Human Right Film Fesstival, Jeju peace humanrights center, Korean Coalition for Abolishment of Insecurity Employment, Korean Gay Men's Human Rights Group, 'Chingusai', Korean House for International Solidarity, Korean Lawyers for Public interest and Human rights, Korean Solidarity For Overseas Community Organization, MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee, Network for Glocal Activism, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, Protesting against poverty discrimination ＆ Solidarity for Human Rights, Samsung Labor Watch, Seogyo institute for humanities and social science, Seoul Human Rights Film Festival, Seoul Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination, Social and Labor Committee of Jogye order of Korean Buddhism, Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination, Solidarity for peace&humanrights, Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry, The April 9 Unification & Peace Foundation, The Committee to Support Imprisoned Workers, Won Buddhism Human Rights Committee