EU asks China to free Liu Xiaobo immediately

EU asks China to free Liu Xiaobo immediately Brussels: The European Union on Friday pressed China to immediately release jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in his absence.

"On this day dedicated to human rights defenders around the world my thoughts are with Liu Xiaobo," the foreign policy chief of the 27-nation bloc, Catherine Ashton said, adding that the dissident was in jail for "peacefully expressing his views about political reforms in China."

"I reiterate my call for his immediate release," she said in a statement here.

Earlier in the Norwegian capital, Oslo the head of the Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland placed the Peace Prize diploma and gold medal on an empty chair representing Liu at the award ceremony.

Liu, 54, is an author who was at the forefront of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests. He was jailed in 2009 for 11 years on subversion charges after he sought political reform and greater human rights for 1.3 billion Chinese people.