Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Liu Xia, pictured before his arrest in 2008. 

© 2009 Reuters
 
(Washington, DC, October 16, 2017) – An event celebrating the life, courage, and fight for human rights by Liu Xiaobo, the late Chinese dissident and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, will be held this week at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC. In Beijing, the 19th Communist Party Congress opens on Wednesday in an atmosphere of repression and control.

The service for Liu Xiaobo, on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., will also renew calls for the release of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo’s widow, who has been forcibly disappeared since July 15, two days after her husband’s death.

“Liu Xiaobo deserved a state funeral; Liu Xia deserves her freedom,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “This event shows that their extraordinary sacrifices will not be forgotten.”

The service will include readings of the couples’ works by Norwegian Nobel Committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez, and statements by US and international political leaders, among others.