Liu Xiaobo (born December 28, 1955) is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. He is currently incarcerated as a political prisoner in Jinzhou, Liaoning.
Liu has served from 2003 to 2007 as President of the Independent Chinese PEN Center. He was also the president of Minzhu Zhongguo (Democratic China) magazine since the mid-1990s. On 8 December 2008, Liu was detained because of his participation with the Charter 08 manifesto. He was formally arrested on 23 June 2009 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. He was tried on the same charges on 23 December 2009, and sentenced to eleven years’ imprisonment and two years’ deprivation of political rights on 25 December 2009.
During his fourth prison term, he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” He is the first Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China. Liu is the third person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi (1991). Liu is also the second person (the first being Ossietzky) to be denied the right to have a representative collect the Nobel prize for him.