Scholars, writers seek Liu Xiaobo’s release

Scholars, writers seek Liu Xiaobo’s release Washington: More than 100 leading scholars, writers and human rights advocates from around the world have asked the National People's Congress (NPC) of China to immediately and unconditionally release dissident leader Liu Xiaobo.

A long-time critic of the government, Liu was sentenced in December 2009 to 11 years in prison for publication of six political essays and for his role in the drafting of Charter 08, a petition calling for the rule of law and respect for human rights in China.

"Imprisoning Liu Xiaobo for his criticism of the government is a stain on China's reputation and standing in the world," Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch said. "Instead of punishing and making an example of Liu, the Chinese government should address the concerns expressed in Charter 08", he added.

The letter has been sent to NPC, China's only legislative house which is currently holding its annual plenary meeting, attended by more than 3,000 delegates.

By law, the NPC has the power "to supervise the enforcement of the Constitution," which formally guarantees Chinese citizens freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.