**By Kelie Montalvo**
Freedom Now, the international legal group that represents 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo, filed an urgent action petition with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention yesterday. The petition was filed on behalf of Liu, who is currently imprisoned as a dissident, and his wife, Liu Xia, who has been under illegal house arrest since her husband was awarded the prize in October. The petition aims to garner opinions from the U.N. as to whether the Nobel Laureate and his wife’s respective detentions violate international law.
Maran Turner, Freedom Now’s executive director, has the following to say regarding the petition:
“The Chinese government’s imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo violates the Chinese Constitution and international law; and the ongoing house arrest of Liu Xia shocks the conscience…We urge the Chinese government to immediately release both Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia from their illegal and unjust detentions.”
Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 7th of this year for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” He is currently serving his fourth prison term, an eleven-year sentence for what the Chinese government deems “subversion to state power.” Numerous world leaders have called for Liu’s immediate release. Most recently, fifteen Nobel Peace Prize Laureates submitted a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the G-20 heads-of-state asking them to pressure China into releasing Liu at the upcoming G-20 summit on November 11th. His release due to international pressure is unlikely in the face of China’s U.N. Security Council vetoing power, and Liu is not expected to attend the Noble Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo on December 10th, 2010.
Copyright 2010 Kelie Montalvo
Kelie Montalvo is the blog intern for Guernica.