A Winner in Spite of Beijing's Threats

HMINEWS.COM- Pejuang Hak Asasi Manusia (HAM), Liu Xiaobo, dianugerahi hadiah Nobel Perdamaian tahun 2010 sebagai apesiasi atas jasa-jasanya dalam memperjuangankan hak asasi manusia di Tiongkok tanpa kekerasan.

Komite Nobel Norwegia di Oslo yang membuat pengumuman itu hari ini, mengatakan bahwa panitia telah lama percaya adanya hubungan yang erat antara hak asasi manusia dan perdamaian.

Liu, pejuang gigih kemerdekaan politik di Tiongkok, dijatuhi hukuman 11 tahun penjara Desember lalu karena “menghasut upaya untuk menumbangkan kekuasaan negara.”

Dia ikut menulis dan menandatangani sebuah manifesto tahun 2008 yang menyerukan reformasi politik di Tiongkok.

Komite Nobel mengatakan bahwa melalui hukuman berat yang dijatuhkan kepadanya, Liu telah menjadi “simbol utama” dari sebuah perjuangan luas hak asasi manusia di Tiongkok.

Pemerintah Tiongkok sebelumnya mengatakan kepada seorang pejabat Nobel bahwa Liu bukanlah seseorang yang pantas dipertimbangkan untuk menerima hadiah bergengsi itu.

Namun, Komite Nobel Norwegia mengatakan hari ini bahwa mereka independen dan bebas dari pengaruh pemerintah manapun, serta “memiliki tanggung jawab untuk berbicara ketika orang lain tidak mampu atau mau bicara.”

Tahun lalu, Komite Nobel mengejutkan dunia dengan memberikan hadiah Nobel Perdamaian bagi Presiden AS Barack Obama, meskipun ia baru menjabat kurang dari setahun, sementara AS sedang melancarkan perang di Afghanistan dan Irak.[]voa/dni

Galeri Foto Liu Xiaobo

Memories of the 1989 Tiananmen Crackdown

On Oct. 28, 2008, Liu eulogized the Chinese historian Bao Zunxin at his grave on the first anniversary of his death. Bao had lent considerable support to the pro-democracy demonstrators who took over Beijing’s iconic central square in the spring of 1989 — and, after the crackdown, Bao was among the first arrested. Among those taken with him was Liu, the future Nobelist, who had flown back to China from New York to take part in a Tiananmen hunger strike. He would serve two years in prison. Little more than a month after this photo was taken, Liu would once again be taken into custody by the authorities.

Detention, Arrest and Sentencing

During the evening of Dec. 8, 2008, police went to Liu’s home and took him into detention. The officers could not say why they had taken Liu into custody, but the move was probably precipitated by the imminent release of Charter 08, a document apparently co-authored by Liu that pleaded for democratic reform in China and was signed by hundreds of prominent intellectuals. He would not be formally arrested until June 2009, when he was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” because of his hand in Charter 08. In the photo above, police keep a journalist from photographing supporters of Liu at the Beijing courthouse where he was sentenced on Christmas Day of 2009 to 11 years in prison.

Un-Merry Christmas Greetings

Liu’s Christmas Day sentencing in 2009 angered the populace in China’s Westernized Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, where police protected Beijing’s Liaison Office in the former British colony. While Charter 08 received no coverage within China after its release in December 2008, thousands of Chinese within the country, including Hong Kong, and overseas signed the petition online, a situation that embarrassed the Chinese government so soon after coming off the highs of the Olympic Games spotlight.

Protests in Hong Kong
On New Year’s Day of 2010, protesters gathered outside China’s Liaison Office to demand the release of Liu. Human-rights groups said the length of Liu’s sentence was the longest they had ever seen for a subversion charge and called it a harsh punishment meant to warn other activists.
"We Are All Liu Xiaobo"

Lawmakers in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council wore masks of Liu on Jan. 13, 2010, to protest his sentencing and press for his release. A day before Liu’s Dec. 23 trial (which lasted all of two hours), a U.S. State Department spokesman had declared, “As far as we can tell, this man’s crime was simply signing a piece of paper that aspires to a more open and participatory form of government. That is not a crime.” The sentence was condemned by the U.S., the E.U. and Western governments. China’s Foreign Ministry, however, called all criticism of Liu’s trial “gross interference in China’s internal affairs.”

An Icon of Protest and Controversy
On Jan. 12, 2010, Hong Kong protesters held a candlelight vigil for Liu. As the months went on, petitions circulated for his release — and that he be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — culminating in an International Herald Tribune op-ed by Vaclav Havel urging the Norwegian Nobel Committee to choose Liu as this year’s recipient. Havel, a former dissident who became President of the Czech Republic, was a key figure behind Charter 77, which called for democracy in then communist Czechoslovakia. Charter 08 was written in admiration of Charter 77.
The Dissident's Wife and His Legacy

Liu Xia has seen her husband less than a handful of times since his December 2008 detention, including briefly on the day of his sentencing. “The verdict was completely outrageous,” she told TIME after it came through. “I have nothing to say to this unreasonable government.” But Charter 08 is having a fascinating life behind the scenes in China’s shadowy halls of power. Its key concept is that the Chinese people legitimately desire “freedom, equality and human rights [which] are universal values of humankind.” The words “universal value” in Chinese (pushi jiazhi) have been attacked by conservatives as stealth Westernization and that China and the Chinese need not subscribe to them. But there have been well-placed policymakers who believe in pushi jiazhi — among them, reportedly, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao.

Sumber Tulisan dan Foto  berasal dari majalah time.