Thursday, December 9, 2010

Support the Empty Chair human rights campaign

Photo: Amnesty International USA Facebook page.
This afternoon, the Norwegian Nobel Committee confirmed during a news conference conducted by Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and Geir Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, that during the award of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December 2010, there will be an empty chair in Oslo's City Hall; a chair reserved for this year's Nobel Peace Laureate - Liu Xiaobo - because he can't travel to Oslo for obvious reasons - he is imprisoned in China for peacefully advocating political reform and fundamental human rights. The inability of Liu Xiaobo to occupy his seat and receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo has sparked what I call the "Empty Chair" human rights campaign.

Earlier today, Amnesty International USA posted a photo of an empty chair on Facebook and urged supporters to show support for Liu Xiaobo and protest his imprisonment by using the picture of an empty chair as personal profile picture on Facebook, and take further action by signing a petition to free Liu Xiaobo.

You are encouraged to support the empty chair human rights campaign as requested by Amnesty International USA, and spread the word.

It is worth mentioning that supporters in China cannot join the Facebook campaign because the social networking site is banned in China, as part of a calculated attempt to limit freedom of expression and perhaps silence critics.

Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison on 25 December (christmas day) 2009 for "inciting subversion of state power." His wife is currently under house arrest and can't travel to Oslo to collect the award on his behalf.

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