FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 13, 2017
Ahead of Captive Nations Week, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Blames Chairman Xi Jinping for Death of Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo
Washington, D.C. – Chinese dissident and Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo died Thursday morning, following more than a decade in prison and a fight with liver cancer for which Chinese authorities denied him medical treatment until very recently. International calls for his release fell on deaf ears in the captive nation of China. A pro-democracy advocate for most of his adult life, Xiaobo was central to the Tiananmen Square protests and subsequent massacre by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). He was an inspiration to others who joined him in calling for an end to corruption and political repression in China. The Chinese government frequently arrested and detained him because his ideas were not convenient to their Communist, one-party rule. As the United States prepares to recognize the struggle of dissidents around the world during Captive Nations Week, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) believes Liu Xiaobo’s death should be a call to action for all who oppose totalitarianism in all its forms.
“The Chinese government led by Chairman Xi Jinping is responsible for the death of one of this generation’s most important Chinese scholars. His brilliance was silenced because it did not conform to the party’s ideas and further their totalitarian agenda,” said VOC Executive Director Marion Smith. “His work was silenced in China and he died in captivity because of his ideas. This is a sobering reminder that communism is still alive and well in the 21st century. With Monday marking the beginning of Captive Nations Week, we must continue to push our elected representatives to speak out against regimes that don’t uphold our values of democracy and freedom and to continue to pressure them to abandon this ideology.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, VOC Executive Director, please contact Ayla Ybarra at [email protected] or 202.629.9500.