World Uyghur Congress Deeply Saddened By the Death of Liu Xiaobo
The World Uyghur Congress expresses its deep sadness and regret upon hearing of the death of Liu Xiaobo. Liu will forever stand as a symbol both of a wide ranging struggle for human rights and democracy as well as the relentless and repressive power of the state.
The tireless Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was serving an 11-year jail term for his activism, played an instrumental role in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and worked for years speaking and writing publicly about the importance of democracy.
In truth, Liu’s detention stemmed from a deep fear that persists to the highest levels of the Chinese government. It is in this very fear of the people that civil society and individuals must continue to stand up despite such obstacles.
His case appropriately embodies China’s continued efforts to silence peaceful critics, intimidate dissidents and stifle a much needed conversation about what approach will truly benefit Chinese, Uyghurs, Tibetans and many others.
Freedom and democracy have never been inevitabilities. They have arisen out of the work of countless peoples for decades. Locking away the few has only emboldened the many.