Renewed calls for Nobel laureate Xiaobo`s release

About 400 people took to the street in Hong Kong as part of a world-wide campaign calling on China to release Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo who is in prison for subversion.

Updated: Dec 06, 2010, 15:56 PM IST

Hong Kong: About 400 people took to the
street in Hong Kong as part of a world-wide campaign calling on China to release Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo who is in prison for subversion.

"China can`t even allow Liu Xiaobo`s peaceful calling for
democracy, or Zhao Lianhai`s fight for fair compensation for
the tainted milk victims," Democratic Party Chairman Albert Ho
said before the march on Sunday.

"That shows that Beijing`s promise of endorsing the rule
of law was empty," he said.

Protests, marches and forums have also been held by
concerned groups in North American cities such as Vancouver,
Toronto, Los Angeles, Boston and New York on the same day,
seeking Liu`s release and human rights improvement in China.

"Release Liu Xiaobo, release Zhao Lianhai," protesters
chanted as they proceeded toward the Central Liaison Office,
Beijing`s representative in Hong Kong, while carrying placards
also calling for an end to one-party rule and for a democratic
China.

"The way Beijing handled Liu Xiaobo and other political
dissidents is shameful," social worker Helena Kwong(33) said
during the march.

"I may not agree with everything in (Liu`s) Charter 08,
but democracy is certainly a positive factor for building a
civilized China," she said.

The march took about two hours and protesters tied yellow
ribbons outside the liaison office to commemorate Liu and
other dissidents persecuted in China.

"Hong Kong people are ashamed of Beijing`s decision to
imprison Liu and place his wife Liu Xia under house arrest,"
pro-democracy legislator Lee Cheuk-yan said.

Lee and Ho were among several Hong Kong activists invited
by Liu Xia to attend the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in
Oslo on behalf of herself and Liu next Friday.

A former professor and democracy advocate who co-drafted
the political reform blueprint Charter 08 calling for democratization in China, Liu is serving an 11-year prison term for "inciting subversion of state power."

The Norwegian group awarded Liu the prize despite
Beijing`s political pressure and threats it would harm the
ties between the governments.

Beijing has also tried to dissuade other countries from
attending the prize award ceremony.

Liu`s wife and dozens of dissidents who were invited by
Liu Xia to attend the ceremony on Liu`s behalf have been
placed under house arrest or barred from leaving China.
Prominent figures, including human rights lawyer Mo
Shaoping, economist Mao Yushi and artist Ai Weiwei, were
barred from leaving China for international events unrelated
to the Nobel ceremony.

Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to Chinese
rule in 1997, has been the only Chinese city to allow
demonstrations that confront Beijing`s one-party rule and
criticize its human rights abuse.

PTI