Along with people across the world, the Nobel Peace Center mourns the loss of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. He died on Thursday July 13th in China. In memory of Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Center has set up a temporary commemorative installation about his life and work. An online book of condolences has been opened for all those who would like to remember and pay their last respects to Liu Xiaobo.

Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He was a key figure in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and a signatory to the 2008 Charter 08 manifesto, which demanded political change. In 2009, Liu was imprisoned for “inciting subversion of state power.” Because he was in prison, he was unable to come to Norway to receive the Peace Prize in 2010.

The award ceremony in Oslo went ahead as planned, though his chair remained symbolically empty.

When it was announced in June that Liu had been provisionally released from prison on medical grounds after being diagnosed with liver cancer, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Berit Reiss Andersen and several international leaders demanded that Liu be allowed the freedom to seek treatment abroad on humanitarian grounds. The Nobel Committee also pointed out that Liu had a standing invitation to come to Norway to receive his prize. Sadly, the 2010 Peace Prize laureate died without being able to leave China.

“Liu Xiabo’s tireless efforts to promote freedom of expression and democracy in China will leave an indelible mark. He has paid a high price for his struggle for freedom of expression. That he died in captivity, imprisoned for expressing his views, puts human rights in China under renewed critical scrutiny, and is a tragedy that the world cannot let pass in silence,” says Liv Tørres, director of the Nobel Peace Center. “Liu’s death reminds us of that other Peace Prize laureate Carl von Ossietzky, who died in detention in Germany in 1938. He, too, never had the chance to receive his Peace Prize medal. Today, another sad chapter in the struggle for democracy and freedom of expression has been written.”

The Nobel Peace Center invites all those who wish to remember Liu Xiaobo to share their thoughts in the online book of condolence, available here:

“Even though I might be faced with nothing but a series of tragedies, I will still struggle, still show my opposition.” (Liu Xiaobo, 1988)

Facts about the Nobel Peace Center

  • one of Norway’s most visited museums with app 250 000 vistors per year
  • presents the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their work, in addition to telling the story of Alfred Nobel
  • is an arena for debate and reflection around topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution
  • is internationally recognized for its emphasis on documentary photography and interactive technology
  • presents changing exhibitions, engaging digital solutions, films, seminars and events
  • is an independent foundation, with the Norwegian Nobel Committee appointing the board
  • Olav Njølstad is the leader of the board, Liv Tørres is the Executive Director
  • is financed by a combination of public and private funds
  • the main sponsors and collaborating partners are Hydro, Telenor Group and ABB