The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice will send a delegation to the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony to be held on December 10, 2010 on behalf of this year’s Prize winner, jailed political prisoner Liu Xiaobo.
Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation, will travel to Oslo, Norway with two other representatives from the Lantos Foundation, joining an international delegation that includes US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Amnesty International and other human rights groups, as well as many Chinese dissidents in exile who are attending in a show of support for Liu Xiaobo.
Liu is serving an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion” by co-authoring Charter 08, a call for democracy and respect for human rights in China. Since the Nobel Committee made the announcement, Liu Xiaobo’s wife has been under house arrest, isolated from the outside world. China is not allowing anyone associated with Liu to leave the country to attend the ceremony or accept the award on his behalf.
Following the Award ceremony in Oslo, Swett and her delegation will travel to Moscow, Russia for the verdict in the second “show trial” of Russia’s most well known political prisoner, former YUKOS Oil CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Faced with a possible sentence of fourteen more years in prison on new trumped up charges, and having already spent seven years behind bars, Khodorkovsky has become a symbol of the political repression and legal injustice in Russia. Last month in his closing statement he said, "Millions of eyes throughout Russia and the world are watching this trial...they are watching with the hope Russia will still become a country of freedom...where human rights no longer depend on the mood of the czar." Mikhail will learn his fate and perhaps the fate of his country on December 15, 2010.
Liu and Khodorkovsky have become symbols of the struggle for human rights and the rule of law in their respective countries. The Lantos Foundation has been involved with both cases in its ongoing mission to protect and support human rights around the world.
All media wishing to contact Dr. Swett while she is in Oslo or Moscow are asked to contact the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice at 603-226-3636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.