Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois would like to acknowledge the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident and non-violent activist for human rights in China.
Mr. Xiaobo became a symbol of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, when he was sent to prison for 20 months without ever being charged. From 1996 to 1999, he served three years in a labour camp for co-signing a letter calling for the removal from office of the then Chinese president and for seeking the release of those jailed in the 1989 movement. In 2009, he was again sentenced to 11 years in prison for having signed Charter 08, which called for an extension of political freedom and the end of communist rule in China.
The Nobel prize committee decided to honour Mr. Xiaobo despite threats of reprisals by Chinese authorities. Because China has become a major economic power, “China's new status must entail increased responsibility”, said the Chair of the Nobel Committee.
The Bloc Québécois commends this courageous activist.