Pelosi Statement on the Death of Liu Xiaobo

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement following reports of the death of Nobel Peace Prize winner and Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiaobo.  As Speaker, Pelosi attended the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway, as part of the official delegation on behalf of Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia.

“On this day, the world grieves the loss of Liu Xiaobo – one of the great moral voices of our time.  His clarion call for democracy and human rights in China represented the best hopes of humankind; his courage became a poignant symbol for freedom-loving people across the globe.

“Liu Xiaobo’s death is a tragedy and a deep affront to the basic notions of justice and human dignity.  The role that poor medical care in prison played in his death – and the cruelty of confining a dying man in captivity, away from his family and friends – should disturb us all.  His arrest for the so-called crime of putting his political views into writing is a sobering reminder of China’s shameful disregard for basic freedoms.

“The world is a bleaker place for this crushing loss, but we must continue to carry forward Liu Xiaobo’s legacy.  America must honor its moral duty to speak out in defense of the many journalists, human rights lawyers, democracy activists and religious freedom advocates unjustly and unfairly tossed in jail simply for aspiring for a more free and hopeful future.  If we do not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, then we lose all moral authority to talk about human rights any other place in the world.

“Two weeks ago, I was pleased to join Congressman Chris Smith, Co-Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, as the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution calling for the unconditional release of both Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia.  We strongly hope that China will heed the call to free Liu Xia from her unjust house arrest and will allow her to travel wherever she may chose.

“May Liu Xiaobo’s life and legacy continue to inspire all who strive for justice and democracy. May his memory be a blessing for us all.  And may his family take some solace in knowing that the world mourns with them.”

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