Thursday 14 December 2017

Tiananmen Square atrocity turned literature lecturer into activist

David Eimer in Beijing

Liu Xiaobo's path to the Nobel Peace Prize began during the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, when he joined student demonstrators on hunger strike two days before the protests were crushed by the Chinese military.

Witnessing the brutal crackdown helped to turn the Chinese literature lecturer at Beijing Normal University into China's most outspoken and best-known activist.

His part in the Tiananmen protests resulted in his first prison sentence. In 1996, Mr Liu was sent to a re-education labour camp for three years on charges of "disturbing public order", after criticising the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

His role in the Charter 08 movement made him the party's public enemy number one. The Charter 08 manifesto called for political reforms, guaranteed human rights and an independent judiciary.

Two days before the manifesto was released Mr Liu was charged with "inciting subversion of state power", and was jailed for 11 years.

Since then he has been held at Jinzhou Prison. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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