Hong Kong protesters demand China release Nobel laureate

Sunday, December 5, 2010

HONG KONG - Hundreds of protesters marched to Beijing’s de facto embassy in Hong Kong Sunday calling for the release of jailed dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

The group also called on China to free the laureate’s wife Liu Xia who has been under house arrest since the award was announced in October.

The march, jointly organised by ten groups, was one of a number scheduled to take part all over the world ahead of the awards ceremony in Oslo Friday.

Liu, 54, is serving 11 years for subversion for co-writing a paper appealing for political reform in China.

During the protest, supporters erected a huge banner calling for his release outside the Beijing’s liaison office. They also carried photos of Liu and tied ribbons to the gates of the office to show their support.

Speaking on government run radio RTHK, lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan said China’s image would be seriously damaged if the couple were not released.

“Such oppressive power will not be accepted universally and so it will really damage China’s image if it continues to detain Liu Xiaobo and continues with the house arrest of Liu Xia,” Lee said.

“We are calling on them to be released so China can improve its image.”

Hong Kong, a former British colony which reverted to Chinese rule in 1997 with a mini-constitution guaranteeing limited political freedom, is the only place on Chinese soil where anti-China protests can take place.

Filed under: Immigration, World

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