The Visual Artists Guild celebrates the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Awardee, Liu Xiaobo.  He is the foremost symbol of the wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China.

Liu Xiaobo, a writer and human rights activist, is currently imprisoned by the government of the Peoples Republic for helping to draft Charter 08 - a document which called for multi-party democracy and respect for human rights in China.

The award honors the more than 10 thousand Chinese citizens who courageously signed in support of the ideas expressed in the Charter 08 and of all prisoners of conscience.

Charter 08 is a manifesto which reiterated many of the rights as set forth in the Universal declaration of human rights.  It was modeled after Charter 77  which was written by Czechoslovakian writers and intellectuals, among then Vaclav Havel, in 1977 calling for change in that country.

The Nobel Foundation praised Liu Xiaobo for his "long and non-violent struggle" and highlighted its belief in a "close connection between human rights and peace".

On Christmas Day, 2009, Liu Xiaobo received an 11-year prison sentence for "inciting subversion".  The rest of the world does not recognize opinion as a crime.

President Barack Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, has joined those who are asking China for the immediate release of Liu Xiaobo.

In a statement that was released hours after the Nobel was awarded to the Chinese dissident, President Obama said: "We urge the Chinese government to release Liu as soon as possible."

Seven countries, including The United States, France and Germany are calling for his immediate release.

We join in these calls to the People's Republic of China to release Liu Xiaobo, along with the numerous other prisoners of conscience who languish in Chinese jails and laogai."

The award to Liu Xiaobo has sparked protests in  China. The official Chinese media continues to strongly condemned the choice of Liu Xiaobo as recipient of the Nobel Prize.

PRC authorities have banned all foreign broadcasts of this announcement.  We remain concerned that PRC police have begun to arrest demonstrators in China as they celebrate Liu Xiaobo.

The Nobel committee's peace prize award to Liu Xiabo continues their tradition of recognizing the courage of those like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr and Aung San Suu Kyi who have been imprisoned for their beliefs and work to bring about peace in this world.

The Nobel Peace Prize has also been awarded to Mother Tersea.

Liu Xiaobo is in good company!

Thank you.