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Sen. Cruz: ‘Today the World Lost a Hero of Liberty and Freedom’

Issues statement following the passing of Dr. Liu Xiaobo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement regarding the passing of Dr. Liu Xiaobo, a pro-democracy dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner unjustly imprisoned by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Dr. Liu is most notably known for publishing "Charter 08," an anti-Communist manifesto calling for political freedom and human justice. 

“Today the world lost a hero of liberty and freedom. Liu Xiaobo, a voice for the voiceless and defender of the oppressed in Communist China, passed away. Although the physical cause of his death was cancer, Dr. Liu’s primary battle was one of the soul. Ever since leaving the safety and comfort of America to lead the protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989, Dr. Liu sealed his fate as a persistent focus of persecution from the authoritarian PRC. From ‘reeducation through labor’ and deprivation of property to unjust imprisonment and physical abuse, Dr. Liu bore the brunt of the Communist Party’s wrath for daring to challenge their immoral system of political oppression in his coauthoring of ‘Charter 08,’ a manifesto of Chinese freedom that reverberates today more than ever.

 “As we grieve his loss, our immediate focus must be his widow Liu Xia. Because Xi Jinping refused their departure to America, their rightfully earned Nobel Prize money remains unclaimed, and Liu Xia is in danger. Although it is of no consolation regarding the death of her husband, I was pleased to hear today from Liu Xiaobo’s counsel that the Norwegian Nobel Institute has now confirmed it has found a legal way for Liu Xia to be able to inherit the $1.5 million monetary award for the Nobel Peace Prize that Liu Xiaobo was never able to collect. I intend to continue my longstanding effort to honor Liu Xiaobo and to secure Liu Xia’s livelihood, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democrat: if there is an issue that should unite us all, it is that the wife a Nobel Peace laureate speaking out for peace and democracy should not be kept hostage in Communist China.”

 “Charter 08” can be read in its entirety here. Sen. Cruz has led the effort to rename the plaza in Dr. Liu's honor since 2014 and most recently reintroduced legislation last May with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Two weeks ago, Sen. Cruz demanded China release Dr. Liu before the end of the July 4th Senate recess. He has also delivered speeches on the Senate floor yesterday, September, October, and November of 2015 to call attention to Dr. Liu's plight and human rights abuses in communist China.