Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) delivered a statement today at a Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing entitled “The Tragic Case of Liu Xiaobo.”

Below is Chairman Royce’s statement (as prepared for delivery) at the hearing:

“Yesterday was a sad day for human rights.  I was deeply saddened to learn of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo’s tragic passing.  The world mourns, and our thoughts are with Liu’s loved ones, especially his widow Liu Xia who has been under house arrest since 2010.

Liu was a prolific writer and academic.  He dedicated his life to giving voice to the oppressed by calling for his government to grant more freedoms to the Chinese people.  He was imprisoned multiple times for his peaceful protests for human rights and democracy in China, first during Tiananmen Square in 1989, and later for releasing the ‘Charter 08’ manifesto in 2009 which articulated the need for reforms in China to achieve rule of law, and freedom of press, speech, and religion.  He was an inspiration to all of us.

Liu’s efforts were not in vain.  His sacrifice and death while in the custody of the Chinese government while serving an unjustified eleven-year prison sentence has shined a light on the sad state of human rights in China.

As we take stock of these sad events, we should remember there are prisoners of conscience in China and around the world who continue to need our support. Let us be part of his legacy.  May the bravery of Liu Xiaobo inspire us to seek their freedom also.”