Icelandic president encourages human rights protests in China

Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, has reiterated his previous appeals to the Chinese authorities and called upon the international community to unite in the struggle for better human rights so that freedom of speech can be enshrined in law and nobody will be jailed simply for their views.

This comes from a statement from the President following a question about whether he would encourage the Chinese government to release Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo from prison. Xiaobo is facing a 11-year sentence in China.

A statement from the President’s aides says that he has been using every opportunity to discuss human rights with Chinese officials for over ten years and has brought the subject up on numerous occasions. The first time was when former president of the Chinese parliament, Li Peng came to Iceland in 2000, reports. At the time, Grimsson presented a copy of the United Nations declaration of human rights, which had recently been translated into Chinese.

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