A Mind Confined to the Prison: China’s most prominent human rights activist Liu Xiaobo breathes his last.

Liu Xiabo will be remembered for the tremendous work that he did towards the restoration of the human rights of the Chinese people it is but an irony that a man of his stature could be allowed to die without even getting access to proper treatment for a disease that was fatal. Xiaobo’s death is a death of many dreams.


Kabir | The New Leam


Few days back I came across an article about China’s most prominent human rights activist and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo  in The Guardian, saying that the 61 year old Liu was in custody and suffering from terminal liver cancer, his appeal to the state to permit him to travel aboard for medical treatment has been rejected by the government authorities.

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Liu Xiaobo / Image Source: The New York Review of Books

We are aware of the fact that in 2008, Liu came up with a pro-democracy manifesto demanding an end to the one-party rule and advancing of the human rights situation in the country. Thousands of citizens signed this manifesto. Liu got support from every section of the society. Perhaps it was his emerging popularity that appeared as a danger to the present government. They came up with instant order and Liu was arrested and condemned to 11 years of imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power.” He has been behind the bars since then.
And today I came to know that Liu Xiaobo died in custody. The Chinese literary critic had shocked the intellectual and ideological circles with his radical opinions and sharp criticism of the establishment.
Liu became the second Nobel peace prize winner to die in prison after German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, the recipient of the 1935 awards who died under surveillance after spending years in confinement in Nazi concentration camps.  

Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjoern Jagland stands near the empty chair where this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo would have sat, on which his Nobel certificate and medal have been placed, as a portrait of Liu is seen in the background, during the ceremony at Oslo City Hall December 10, 2010. Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in an Oslo ceremony derided by Beijing as a farce, and dedicated it from his prison cell to the "lost souls" of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. REUTERS/Heiko Junge/Scanpix Norway/Pool (NORWAY - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO COMMERCIAL OR BOOK SALES. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NORWAY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NORWAY
Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjoern Jagland stands near the empty chair where this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo would have sat, on which his Nobel certificate and medal have been placed, as a portrait of Liu is seen in the background, during the ceremony at Oslo City Hall December 10, 2010. Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in an Oslo ceremony derided by Beijing as a farce, and dedicated it from his prison cell to the “lost souls” of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. REUTERS/Heiko Junge/Scanpix Norway/Pool

In 2010, he was awarded the Noble Peace Prize for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Beijing was so furious with the award that his family was denied permission to travel to Norway to accept the award. , the peace prize was awarded to an empty chair on behalf of Liu. This is despite the fact that this was the first noble award for any Chinese citizen.

Liu has also authored three books: Criticism of the Choice: Dialogues with Li Zehou, Aesthetic and Human Freedom and The Fog of Metaphysics. All the books were banned despite their critical acclaim.  It is a great irony that a nation neglects a mind as brilliant as Liu Xiabo’s and lets him pass away in the enclosement of prison without even having received proper treatment.


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One Response

  1. Rohit
    Rohit at |

    People who always criticize Indian democracy and freedom needs to know about such countries and their dealing with anti-nationals. What more we need from the soil.

    Reply

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