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Rubio Statement on Release of Liu Xia, Widow of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Chinese Pro-Democracy Advocate Liu Xiaobo
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), today issued a statement on the release of Liu Xia, widow of Liu Xiaobo, the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Chinese pro-democracy advocate, from arbitrary detention at her home to Germany:
“Liu Xia’s release, on the eve of the anniversary of her husband Liu Xiaobo’s death in captivity, is long overdue. She was unjustly and illegally held in confinement at her home for 8 years by the Chinese government—cut off from the outside world, isolated in her grief and tormented by her captors,” Rubio said.
“Liu Xia’s freedom is the result of sustained public pressure and international diplomacy, and we will continue to raise the thousands of other political and religious prisoners in China who remain detained and imprisoned.
“As we approach the one-year anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s death, his legacy and the vision that he and others set forth in Charter 08, an open statement calling for political reforms and the protection of universal human rights in China, remain unfulfilled for millions of Chinese citizens.”
Rubio also noted with the concern the fate of Liu Xia’s brother who remains in China.
Senator Rubio has continually advocated for Liu Xia’s release after her husband died in Chinese state custody:
- Prior to Liu Xiaobo’s death, Rubio introduced a Senate resolution urging the Chinese government to unconditionally release Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia in July 2017.
- After Liu Xiaobo’s death, Rubio authored an open letter to Liu Xia in July 2017.
- Rubio and CECC Cochair Rep. Chris Smith urged U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to invite Liu Xia to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in July 2017.
- Liu Xia’s case was featured prominently in the CECC’s 2017 Annual Report, which urged Members of Congress and the Administration to advocate for her release from arbitrary detention.
- After the release a May 2018 audio recording of Liu Xia’s desperate phone call with an exiled friend, Rubio again publicly pressed for her urgent release.