Smith Statement on the Passing of Liu Xiaobo
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-Chairman of the Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC), released the following statement on the passing of Liu Xiaobo.
“It is an unspeakable tragedy that Liu Xiaobo’s unjust imprisonment in 2009 became a death sentence. The blame should lay squarely on the Chinese government, his death is truly an unwashable stain, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in state custody since Carl Von Ossietzky died after being detained in a Nazi concentration camp. Beijing will censor all news inside China about Liu Xiaobo’s death, giving the world all the more reason to speak loudly now, mourning his loss and condemning the repression of Liu Xiaobo and so many other rights advocates in China, including his wife, Liu Xia, who’s health and safety remain at risk. Liu Xiaobo was not afraid to speak truth to power despite sometimes fierce and brutal repression and the international community must find its voice now. Maybe this will be part of his great legacy, unified condemnation of Beijing’s brutal silencing of Liu Xiaobo and all those who carry the torch of freedom in China. The world must not forget Liu Xiaobo and the Communist Party should be confronted with his memory at all occasions.
“We owe him a debt of gratitude because he demonstrated that democracy and due process, liberty and the rule of law are not foreign ideas in China, but ones that eventually will be part of a more peaceful and prosperous future for China and the globe. I am deeply saddened by the loss of this great champion of freedom and democracy, we pray for his friends and family, particularly his wife Liu Xia.”