Liu Xiaobo certainly did not attend the Nobel Prize ceremony in Oslo. He was in prison. The Chinese authorities did not allow him to receive the prize even through relatives or friends. It is noteworthy that our country neglected the ceremony of awarding Liu Xiaobo the Prize in 2011. However, we were not alone here: in addition to the Russian ambassador, representatives of Afghanistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Colombia, Cuba, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sudan, Tunisia and the Philippines did not come to ceremony.

In 2010, I was one of the initiators of the nomination of Liu Xiaobo for the Nobel Peace Prize; the initiative group then included Vaclav Havel, Dalai Lama, André Glucksmann and few others. We were not acquainted, but we had common beliefs: that a person has the right to say what he thinks, that freedom is the right of everyone, that laws must be respected by everyone, including the authorities, that it is necessary to fight for their beliefs non-violently, be it in China, in Russia or in any other country.

Chinese human rights activist and Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo passed away yesterday. He was 61. The human rights activist spent the last six years in a Chinese prison, convicted on charges of undermining the state system.

Liu Xiaobo was the first Chinese citizen in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The time will come, and China will be proud of it.