Imprisoned since December 2008, Liu’s “crime” was the organization of the Charter 08 document—a manifesto signed by hundreds of Chinese intellectuals and activists petitioning Beijing for greater freedom and human rights. Published on December 10, 2008—the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—Charter 08 was inspired by the Charter 77 movement led by HRF’s late chairman, Václav Havel, during Czechoslovakia’s struggle with dictatorship.
Liu still languishes in Jinzhou Prison—located in the province of Liaonin—with little contact with his family. His wife, Liu Xia, is under house arrest, despite never having been charged with a crime. In December 2012, the Committee sent a letter signed by 134 Nobel Laureates and more than 430,000 individuals to the Chinese authorities, demanding Liu’s release. HRF published the letter across various media outlets, along with a video of his imprisoned wife’s remarks.
HRF is dedicated to exposing the crimes of the Chinese dictatorship and continues to fight for the freedom of Liu and his wife.