Taiwanese rights groups call for early release of Liu Xiaobo


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwanese human rights groups urged Beijing on yesterday to release immediately and unconditionally jailed human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who was announced as the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Friday.

The rights activist groups, including the Humanistic Education Foundation and the Homemaker’s Union and Foundation, issued a joint statement at a press conference that called on Beijing to end its “savage” behavior against human rights advocates and political dissidents once and for all.

The Chinese authorities should take concrete measures to improve human rights in China and build up a free and democratic system in the country, including ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that was adopted by the United Nations in 1960, the statement said.

“President Ma Ying-jeou should also publicly ask Beijing to ratify the U.N. charter on human rights quickly,” it said.

The groups also pushed for human rights protection measures and methods ensuring the safety of Taiwanese people visiting or doing business in China to be included in the investment guarantee agreement that Taiwan and China are currently negotiating.

Meanwhile, the statement offered an invitation to Liu to visit Taiwan once he is freed, and it asked the president to also make known his stance on welcoming Liu to Taiwan.

Shih Ying, chairman of the Humanistic Education Foundation, said it was regrettable that Ma had not called for Liu’s release in “real time.”

The president urged Chinese authorities Saturday to release the jailed Chinese dissident, one day after he was named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Liu was arrested in 2008 on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” for co-authoring Charter 08, a manifesto calling for free elections, greater freedom of expression and human rights. He was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in prison.