Levin Statement on Death of Liu Xiaobo

Jul 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Sander Levin (MI-09) today released the following statement on reports of the death of Nobel Peace Prize winner and Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiaobo

“As a former Co-Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China which repeatedly advocated for Liu’s release, I mourn the passing of an incomparably courageous advocate who dedicated his life to advancing basic human rights. 

“The Chinese writer, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo was an inspirations to millions of people around the globe.  History will remember Liu as a giant who sought to advance the debate on democratic governance, human rights, and rule of law in China, and for the way Chinese authorities mistreated him and other human rights advocates. 

“For the last decade of his life, Liu was imprisoned by Chinese authorities, often in secret locations, on trumped-up charges of inciting subversion of state power for his thoughtful advocacy for reform, and for his support of the pro-democracy document Charter 08. Over the years, Chinese authorities also relentlessly harassed his wife, Liu Xia, often keeping her in isolation, under house arrest for weeks at a time.  In June 2017, Chinese authorities revealed Liu’s terminal cancer condition after it was beyond treatment, and kept him under guard during Liu’s final weeks. 

“On the final day of his trumped-up trial and sentencing, Liu said:

‘I look forward to when my country is a land with freedom of expression; where every citizen's speech will be treated equally well; where different values, ideas, beliefs, and political views ... can compete with one another and coexist peacefully; ... where all political views will be spread out under the sun for the people to choose from; where every citizen can express political views without fear; and where under no circumstances can one suffer political persecution for expressing different political views.’

“We must work to help his fervent wishes come true.”