Dalai Lama Asks China to Release Liu Xiaobo and Other Political Prisoners བོད་སྐད།

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Monday urged the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo and other political prisoners.

"I am saddened by the Chinese government sentencing Liu Xiaobo, a well-known Chinese writer, to an 11-year jail term," the Dalai Lama said, according to a statement.

Liu Xiaobo, a former university professor, had spent the last year in detention for co-authoring a pro-democracy petition known as Charter '08 that called for major political reform in China, including democratic change and respect for human rights.

"By forcefully sentencing Liu Xiaobo, and others like him, who use freedom of expression to publicly articulate their opinions, the Chinese Authorities have not only violated the binding principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the freedom of expression mentioned in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China." Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said.

International condemnation has followed the sentencing of Liu Xiaobo, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay released a statement Friday saying the conviction and what she called the extremely harsh sentencing marked a severe restriction on freedom of expression in China. The United States and the European Union also condemned the ruling.

Some information for this report was provided by TibetNet and IANS.