‘World Lost a Principled Human Rights Champion Liu Xiaobo’

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has expressed his grief on the death of jailed Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo.

Zeid sent his condolences to his wife, Liu Xia on Thursday. Liu died in a hospital on Thursday after a brief battle with terminal liver cancer.

“The human rights movement in China and across the world has lost a principled champion who devoted his life to defending and promoting human rights, peacefully and consistently, and who was jailed for standing up for his beliefs,” Zeid said.

The Nobel Committee had announced the Nobel Peace Prize 2010 for Liu who spearheaded a peaceful movement in China to see democratization of the political process in that country.

[ Also Read: Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dies in Police Custody ]

Nobel Committee said Thursday that the Chinese Government bears a heavy responsibility for his premature death, as Liu was not allowed to go abroad for medical treatment.

Zeid urged the Chinese authorities to guarantee Liu Xia’s freedom of movement, and allow her to travel abroad should she wish so. Liu Xiaobo declared that he had no hatred for those who pursued and prosecuted him.

“Liu Xiaobo was the definition of civic courage and human dignity – a poet and intellectual who wanted, and strove for, a better future for his country. A man who, despite all he suffered, continued to espouse the politics of peace. He was and will continue to be an inspiration and an example for all human rights defenders,” Zeid said in his statement.

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Rakesh Raman