Leading writers, China scholars,
lawyers, and human rights advocates from around the world today are
releasing a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao urging the writer
Liu Xiaobo’s immediate and unconditional release. Liu is one of some
300 original signatories of Charter 08, a call for the rule of law and
respect for human rights in China.
A literary critic and former professor of literature, Liu Xiaobo has
been held in incommunicado detention since December 8, 2008. Human
Rights Watch has pointed out that the detention of Liu Xiaobo is
arbitrary and violates the minimum procedural guarantees specified
under Chinese law. Over 30 signatories of Charter 08 have been
questioned, summoned by the police, or put under surveillance since
"Liu Xiaobo is the most significant Chinese dissident case in a
decade," said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch.
"Jailing Liu might serve as a warning to other dissidents, but it
would also indicate a political hardening that runs against the
current aspirations of the Chinese people."
The list of prominent signatories of the letter to President Hu
includes top China academics, legal experts, and writers and Nobel
prize winners, including Salman Rushdie, Umberto Eco, Nadine Gordimer,
Seamus Heaney, Carlo Ginzburg, Wole Soyinka, and Hari Kunzru.
For the full text of the letter and signatories, please visit:
For an English translation of Charter 08, please visit: