Target: Xi Jinping
Goal: Release Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo from prison and his wife, Liu Xia from house arrest
On October 8, 2010, Liu Xiaobo became a Nobel Prize winner for his writings preaching for democratic reforms in China. He was quickly detained by Chinese authorities and incarcerated, as his writings are illegal under Chinese law. Xiaobo has been incarcerated for five years, where he is given limited communication access with family and friends. His wife Liu Xia, who is a poet, has not done anything wrong under Chinese law, but shortly after her husband’s arrest, she was placed under house arrest, where she has been for the past three years.
Chinese laws prohibit the distribution of ideals that are not Communist, and violating these laws typically leads to years of incarceration. China also has a tendency to target the victims’ family members, even if they have done nothing wrong. Such was the case with Liu Xia, who is monitored by plainclothes policemen 24/7. She has not been allowed to leave her house for the past three years, and is given very limited social interaction. Friends and family who stop by are halted by the police and are forced to chat through Xia’s window. She is allowed one meal with her parents every week, but declines to meet with other members of her family for fear of humiliation.
Xia’s health has been in decline, as she is facing crippling depression and a loss of appetite. In the early years of her husband’s incarceration, both had managed to have conversations with one another, but now only stare at each other through the glass. Xiaobo does not know of his wife’s house arrest and if Xia attempts to give her husband any positive news about the world, the police immediately break up the conversation.
China’s treatment of their people violates their freedom of speech and expression. There are many other activists, writers, and journalists who have been jailed for spreading their ideals or trying to inform the Chinese people of corruption within their country. While Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia have violated Chinese law, China itself has violated their basic human rights. You can help by signing this petition and demanding for their immediate release.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
I am writing this letter to demand the immediate release of Liu Xiabo and his wife Liu Xia. I do not understand why a man who has won a Nobel Prize should be incarcerated for his writings, and why his actions have forced his wife to be under house arrest. Liu Xia’s health has been in decline, and no doubt her husband’s has been as well.
By incarcerating your people for what they say, you are striking fear into their hearts, and not allowing them to think for themselves. This is a major violation of their human right to freedom of speech and it angers me that your country finds this acceptable. The Chinese people shouldn’t be under the government’s thumb, they should have the freedom to spout whatever ideals they favor, whether it is Communist or not.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bob Jagendorf via Wikimedia