Prague, July 17 (CTK) – About 30 people remembered Chinese Nobel Peace Prize holder Liu Xiaobo, who died of cancer last week after a long imprisonment over the release of the Charter 08 manifesto challenging the one-party rule in China, outside the Chinese embassy in Prague today.
Liu was released from prison last month as he suffered from a terminal illness. He died in a Chinese hospital at the age of 61 on July 13.
Chinese authorities imprisoned Liu four times. He served his fourth sentence from 2009. In 2010, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for human rights in China.
The small gathering in Prague read Liu’s texts today.
“We received the message from one of the friends of Liu’s widow that they are happy that such an event is held in the country of Vaclav Havel,” one of the organisers said.
She said the widow has still been under house arrest.
The Chinese Charter 08 was inspired by the Czechoslovak Charter 77 manifesto, one of whose main authors was the late dissident Havel, former Czech president.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) sent a letter of condolence to Liu’s wife. He said Liu devoted his life to the promotion and defence of democracy, human rights and justice.
In reaction to Liu’s death, Czech right-wing opposition leader Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) called on Czech parliament to cancel a planned visit of its members to China.
President Milos Zeman is to meet a Chinese delegation headed by Communist Party top leader Liu Yunshan on Tuesday. Zeman, who is a strong promoter of Chinese investments in the Czech Republic and tends to ignore human rights affairs in China, did not comment on Liu’s death in any way.
Western media followed Liu’s bad health condition in the past few weeks and they paid high attention to his death, while official Chinese media nearly did not mention it. Liu’s wife and his other relatives have been under strict supervision of Chinese security forces and lived practically isolated until now. Western countries call on China to let the wife, Liu Xia, go abroad. Chinese authorities claim that Liu Xia is free.