Tibetans Support "Charter 08", Join Call for Liu Xiobo's Release
Dharamshala, Dec. 26 – Tibetan exile groups launched a signature campaign today in support of "Charter 08", a rare public appeal made by 300 Chinese citizens for human rights, democracy and legal reform in China.
Tibetans and their supporters are also joining the global call for the immediate release of Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese literary critic and former literature professor who was arbitrarily arrested from his home on December 8th and questioned, just prior to the launch of "Charter 08". Several other signatories to the charter 08 were also detained and interrogated by the Chinese authorities in the following days.
On Monday, Nobel Laureates and prominent scholars issued a joint letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao calling for Liu's release, expressing grave concern over the recent crackdown on freedom of expression in China.
"We are launching this campaign to endorse "Charter 08" – an inspiring movement for democratic reform and the respect of basic human rights in China – and to appeal for immediate release of Liu Xiaobo," said Ngawang Woebar, President of ex-political prisoners movement for Tibet. "It is critical that the international community support the rights of Chinese citizens to freely express their views and advocate for political reform in China and push for the release of Liu and other individuals detained in connection with the Charter".
Liu Xiaobo has been an outspoken advocate of political reform in China and a vocal critic of the Chinese government's hard-lined policies in Tibet. He was a key figure behind the "Twelve Suggestions for Dealing with the Tibet Situation," released in March, in which he and other prominent intellectuals called on the Chinese government to respect the Tibetan people's right to freely express their views and for China's leaders "to hold direct dialogue with the Dalai Lama."
"Liu Xiaobo exemplifies the sort of forward thinking that China's leadership is sorely lacking. Instead of moving toward critical social and political reform in China and meaningfully addressing the Tibet issue, China's leaders are behaving like a group of thugs. Detaining Liu Xiaobo is a scare tactic to deter others in China from backing political reform efforts," said Chime Youngdung President of National Democratic Party of Tibet.
"Charter 08" has now been signed by over 5000 intellectuals lawyers, journalists, writers, scholars, artists including Tibetan writer Woeser. It was launched online on December 9, the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and draws its inspiration from the "Charter 77" document demanding political reform in Czechoslovakia in January 1977.
Phayul[Friday, December 26, 2008 12:35]