We will never forget Liu Xiaobo: Human rights advocates honour Nobel Laureate
OTTAWA – Today, on the anniversary of the death of Liu Xiaobo, human rights groups commemorated the incredible life of the Nobel Laureate, writer, philosopher, and lifelong advocate for human rights in China.
Amnesty International, the Toronto Association for Democracy in China, and the Alliance Canada Hong Kong laid a commemorative wreath on the Liu Xiaobo Empty Chair Memorial, which sits on the front lawn of the Ottawa office of Amnesty International Canada.
“We must honour Liu Xiaobo’s legacy and remember that his fight for a free, democratic China is far from over,” said Cheuk Kwan, of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China (TADC). “This small gesture of remembrance serves to remind us that his spirit will never fade, even as we witness the horrifying deterioration of human-rights in Hong Kong.”
On June 30, almost two weeks before the anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s death, Chinese authorities approved the passage of the national security law, banning all individuals, institutions, and organizations in Hong Kong from “engaging in activities that endanger national security”.
The broad, vaguely defined offences under this new legislation similarly feature in China’s own National Security Law, which has been used to crack down on dissent.
“It was only a year ago when we witnessed the horrific human-rights crackdown in Hong Kong, as authorities clamped down on millions of people taking to the streets in protest of a proposed extradition law,” said Cherie Wong, who presented the wreath on behalf of the Alliance Canada Hong Kong and TADC. “Now, we have seen Chinese authorities go a step further in criminalizing all forms of dissent under this dangerous new national security law.”
Among his many accomplishments, Liu Xiaobo co-wrote Charter 08, a manifesto calling for freedom of expression, human rights, and political reforms in China. He was arrested and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2009.
Nearly a year later, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Chinese government refused to allow him to travel to Oslo to receive the prize. His absence was marked by an empty chair on stage during the award ceremony.
Liu died in prison of liver cancer on July 13, 2017, after Chinese authorities refused his request to seek treatment abroad.
“Three years after Liu Xiaobo’s death, we are reminded that we must do everything we can to uphold his powerful legacy,” said Ihsaan Gardee, Director of Programs & Communications at Amnesty. “Whether in China or elsewhere, we will continue holding all governments to account until we see human rights for everyone.”
Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy created a bronze replica of the “empty chair”, which was unveiled on the front lawn of Amnesty International’s Ottawa office during a ceremony on Aug. 13, 2019.
All members of the public are invited to pay their respects at the Liu Xiaobo Empty Chair Memorial at in Ottawa 312 Laurier Ave. E.
6 月 30 日，在劉曉波忌辰將近兩星期前，中國當局通過了香港的國家安全法，禁止所有個人、機構和組織「從事危害國家安全活動」。
劉曉波為民主自由貢獻良多，其中包括共同草擬《零八憲章》，這個宣言要求中國執政者讓人民享有言論自由和人權，並且作出政治改革。為此，他於 2009 年被捕和被判入獄十三年。
2017 年 7 月 13 日，劉曉波因肝癌在獄中逝世。在他患病期間，中國當局拒絕他到國外就醫的請求。
加拿大雕塑家Ruth Abernethy仿照「空椅子」製作了一張銅座椅，這紀念碑於 2019 年 8 月 13 日在國際特赦渥太華辦公室的前院揭幕。
歡迎公衆蒞臨渥太華 312 Laurier Ave. East，參觀劉曉波空座椅紀念碑。