Former Chinese Protest Leader Chai Ling Hails Nobel Peace Prize Award to Liu Xiaobo
Contact: Tessa Dale, All Girls Allowed, 617-275-9176, [email protected]
BOSTON, Oct. 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- Former 1989 student protest leader Chai Ling on Friday hailed the decision to award the 2010 Nobel Peace to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and called for prayers for his release from prison and for the salvation of China.
Chai, who was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, recalled the "bonding experience" of spending the last hours of the movement with Liu on the square in central Beijing.
"Liu Xiaobo and I were in the last group at Tiananmen when the tanks moved in. Together we stood our ground, advocating … non-violence until the last hour," Ms. Chai said.
She applauded Liu's steadfast efforts in the 21 years since those protests were violently suppressed by the Chinese military. Liu was imprisoned after the 1989 crackdown, and was sentenced again in 2009 to 11 years in prison for co-authoring a declaration, called Charter 08, championing political reform, greater human rights, and an end to one-party rule in China.
Chai called the Nobel Committee's decision "a milestone" and said she was "thankful for the Nobel peace prize committee for finally standing up and doing the right thing to acknowledge heroes like Liu and what he represents." She expressed the hope that "the Western leadership would follow the Nobel Committee's example and stand up for human rights and the development of a civil society in China."
Chai in particular called on U.S. President Obama, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, "to step up the pressure on China" on human rights issues and for the release of Liu and Chinese Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who has been repeatedly kidnapped, arrested, imprisoned and tortured by Chinese authorities for defending the persecuted.
Chai, who became a Christian almost a year ago, called on all Christians to pray for Liu and Gao's release and for "more people to join the movement to bring peace and salvation to China." She also asked Christians to remember the lives lost each day as a result of China's one-child policy, a death toll that far exceeds the number who died in the Tiananmen crackdown. In September, Chai founded the advocacy group All Girls Allowed to fight the one-child policy and to support women's and babies' rights.