Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, who has been incarcerated in China since 2009 as a political prisoner, managed to smuggle out a message from prison to a fellow political advocate in Germany. The message asks the world to pay more attention to the other political prisoners held in China.
“The aura around me is enough already. I hope the world could pay more attention to other victims who are not well-known, or not known at all!” he exclaimed in the message, after saying that he had been reading and maintained he felt no ill will against those who imprisoned him. Liu is serving an 11-year sentence on charges of inciting state subversion and is forced to suspend his political rights for two years, according to the Associated Press.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 while in prison for his nonviolent work for human rights in China. Liu was involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests that were violently suppressed by the Chinese military and has been a leading proponent of political rights in China. The Nobel Committee called Liu “the foremost symbol of this wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China.” Liu’s detention has prompted protests both in China and across the world.
Liao Yiwu, a Chinese author and dissident living in exile in Germany posted the message to his Facebook page and said he received it on Tuesday from “private contacts,” but didn't specify, according to Reuters. He said it was the first he’s heard of Liu in six years and that he and colleagues were convinced it was a legitimate message.
Critics allege that the ruling Communist Party’s campaign against political dissent has become worse since the current president, Xi Jinping, took office in 2012. Many were hopeful that Xi would seek reform after comments he made early in his presidency, like when he said he would “ensure the Constitution’s implementation,” which would mean ensuring “the realization of the fundamental rights of the people,” but those promises have largely been left unfulfilled.