WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“I extend my condolences to Liu Xiaobo's wife Liu Xia, and his family and loved ones. An academic and scholar, a part of the Tiananmen Square movement, and an author of the Charter 08 manifesto, Liu Xiaobo's commitment to human rights and his personal sacrifice were an inspiration for millions in China and around the world.  

“His struggle for human rights in China cost him his liberty when his government sentenced him to 11 years in prison. Honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, his award was presented to an empty chair. When he grew ill with cancer, he was kept behind bars and denied treatment, an abuse condemned by Congress and an act that revealed the depth of his captors’ cruelty.

“His death reminds us of all those engaged in the same peaceful struggle for human rights and democracy around the world. I call on the Chinese government to release all political prisoners, whose courage to demand basic human rights has cost them their freedom. We stand with all those who seek, in Liu's own words, a China that is a free nation ‘ruled by law, where human rights reign supreme.’”

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