Announcement 1 from “Freedom for Liu Xiaobo Action Group”
“Urgent Appeal: Complete Freedom for Liu Xiaobo” has been available for co-signing since noon, 27 June. By 11pm, 29 June there are 1456 signatories.
The open letter calling for co-signing has been censored on Chinese social media from the very beginning. The internet censorship is thorough enough to cover photographs of the open letter, making the task of calling for signatories and raising attention on Liu Xiaobo very difficult. However, even under such severe censorship, there are still nearly 1500 people breaking through the blockade, expressing their support and concerns for Liu Xiaobo through their signatures. We believe that no dictatorship could stop people from caring about humanity, nor could it stop the people's pursuit of freedom.
The Chinese Government is terrified and fearful of the spreading of information about Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, and of people’s freedom to express themselves. Not only has it blocked the spread of information on this issue through targeted internet censorship, it has also summoned citizens who have spread the words of the appeal on social media for questioning, trying to trace the source of the appeal. Police from places including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Zhejiang, Sichuan and Hubei has already summoned or “drank tea*” with nearly 20 signatories of the Urgent Appeal, demanding them to stop speaking up for Liu Xiaobo, prohibiting them from going to Shenyang, and pressuring them to spill the names of the initiators of the Urgent Appeal. Some has their offices searched, some has security cameras installed over their front door, and some has been taken to the police station for nearly 20 hours, in an concerted attempt to threaten, trace and stop people from supporting Liu Xiaobo.
At the same time, there are news coming from all over the country that the authorities are blocking any sort of information about Liu Xiaobo from spreading, and putting pressure on citizens in support of him, as if facing a difficult enemy. At 4 pm today, Beijing police has gone to the home of Bao Tong, policy secretary of deceased former Premier Zhao Ziyang, to convey the order of the “superior” that Bao Tong is not allowed to publish any more articles or give interviews about Liu Xiaobo. Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice has an appointment with Shang Baojun, former defence lawyer of Liu Xiaobo this afternoon, demanding him not to give any more interviews about Liu Xiaobo.
“Freedom for Liu Xiaobo Action Group” is a group of volunteers concerned about the illness of Liu Xiaobo. We are currently responsible for the work relating to “Urgent Appeal: Complete Freedom for Liu Xiaobo”, for liaising with world media about the publication of news relating to Liu Xiaobo, and for other campaign actions. “Freedom for Liu Xiaobo Action Group” will not give up until the day that Liu Xiaobo is completely free.
Freedom for Liu Xiaobo Action Group
29 June 2017
*“Tea drinking” is a colloquial way of saying that one is having an appointment with the police or national security