Liu Xiaobo was born on December 28th, 1955, in Changchun, China. The family was of intellectuals as both his parents were teachers. After he graduated high school, he retreated to the countryside to work at a farm. However, three years later, he returned to school to study Chinese literature at Jilin University.
After achieving a bachelor’s degree, he left for Beijing. There, he continued to study literature. By 1984 he had a master’s degree. Four years later, he was a Ph.D. Besides, his work was very critical of the establishment, which came as a shock. As a result, the University of Columbia and the Universities of Ohio and Hawaii invited him for a teacher and study visit.
However, in 1989, when he was in the USA, protests broke out in China. The Tiananmen Square protests were student-led demonstrations against the Chinese communist regime. Thus, Liu Xiaobo decided to return to Beijing to join the protests.
Human rights activists
He returned to China in April 1989 to support the democratic movement. Many other intellectuals, on the other hand, made plans to leave the country. Either way, he joined the student demonstrations on Tiananmen Square. On June 2nd, China declared martial law. As a result, Xiaobo and three others went on a hunger strike.
Two days later, on June 4th, he helped persuade the student to leave the square. That saved up to hundreds of lives as the regime sent tanks to destroy the demonstration. He was arrested and spent two years in prison.
Once again, China sent him to prison for three years again in 1996 for an anti-government petition. In 2008, he helped draft Charter 08, a manifesto inspired by the Czechoslovak Charter 77, calling for political changes. As a result, the communist regime sent him to prison for eleven years.
On October 8th, 2010, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent human rights activist. China did not allow him to receive the award. Liu Xiaobo died on July 17th, 2017, in Shenyang, only a month after leaving prison. He was only 61 years old, had a wife and one son.
“Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth.”Liu Xiaobo