Charter 77 signatories want Nobel nomination for Chinese contemporaries
Some of the original signatories of the human rights appeal Charter 77 have called on Czech politicians and academics to nominate the Chinese human rights initiative Charter 08 for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Charter 08 was originally signed by more than 300 people, including the human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who’s been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his involvement.
Now, many years later, the original Charter 77 signatories want the western world to show the same support for today’s Chinese human rights activists, many of whom have felt the wrath of the Chinese authorities since drawing up their own charter. Dana Němcová is one of the original Charter 77 signatories.
Dana Němcová and several of her colleagues are calling on Czech politicians, officials and academics to nominate Charter 08 for this year’s 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. With Liu Xiaobo and many other activists already persecuted for their involvement, one might be tempted to assume the initiative is doomed to failure. But Dana Němcová sees hope, even though Charter has only been signed by a few thousand people in a population of more than a billion.
“I feel that precisely because China is so huge, there must be those who are in favour of change, those who support initiatives for greater relaxation of conditions. Of course the regime is highly repressive, but what we’re talking about here is giving those initiatives our support. For us in Charter 77 such support acted as a kind of shield, as a source of great assistance. We must not forget those brave enough to do what they’re doing in China, and we must provide them too with our support.”
Full text of Charter 08 - http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Charter_08