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Charter 77 warning of human rights abuses in China

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Prague, Jan 20 (CTK) – More than 160 Charter 77 signatories asked the Czech government to support human rights in China and to stand by imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo, a Peace Nobel Prize laureate, in their letter to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) Friday.
The signatories have reacted to the government statement on the 40th anniversary of the dissident manifesto in which it unanimously claimed its human rights heritage.
“We are aware of the Charter 77 having been able to face mass repressions by the Communist regime primarily thanks to the interest of the foreign public,” the letter said.
The most important help was provided by the interest on the part of the governments of democratic countries that protested against human rights abuses in the former Czechoslovakia on the diplomatic level, paying also attention to individual cases, it added.
“At present, we know that without the support the Communist regime would have destroyed the Charter 77 silently,” the letter said.
The letter is signed by philosopher Daniel Kroupa, Prague Bishop Vaclav Maly, former education minister Jan Sokol, psychologist Dana Nemcova, former culture minister Milan Uhde, actor Vlasta Chramostova, sociologist Jirina Siklova, Chief Rabbi Karol Sidon and former foreign and defence minister Alexandr Vondra.
The signatories have warned of the case of Chinese dissident, poet and 2010 Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo who has been serving an 11-year prison sentence for sedition since 2009.
He wrote a petition asking for the termination of the one-party rule in China.
The signatories asked Sobotka and the government to insist on Liu Xiaobo’s release from prison.
“This will be a sign for the Czech public that you really mean your statement,” the letter said.
Liou made his mark as one of the spiritual fathers of the Charter 08 in which hundreds of Chinese personalities spoke for the observance of human rights in China. The document was inspired by the Czechoslovak Charter 77.
The dissident manifesto was signed by 242 people by the end of 1976 and it was launched to the world on January 6, 1977. Its first spokespersons were playwright Vaclav Havel, former foreign minister Jiri Hajek and philosopher Jan Patocka.
The Charter 77 movement was opposed to the violation of human and civic rights in the country. By January 1990, Charter 77 was signed by over 1800 people.

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