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Liu Xiaobo

Activist / Writer

Born: 28 December 1955
Birthplace: Changchun, Jilin, China
Best known as: The Chinese writer who won 2010's Nobel Peace Prize
Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 -- while serving a prison sentence in China for "inciting subversion" with writings that urged reform of the government. A poet and scholar, Liu earned an undergraduate degree in literature from Jilin University in 1982, then studied at Beijing Normal University, where he earned his doctorate in 1988 and became a faculty member. He was a visiting professor at New York's Columbia University when student protests broke out in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in June of 1989. Liu Xiaobo returned to Beijing and threw himself in the middle of the dispute between the Red Army and the student protestors. Liu helped negotiate a peaceful evacuation of the square, but his support of the protesters got him 2 years in prison and a lifetime of being monitored by Chinese authorities. Liu Xiaobo is currently in prison for co-authoring a document called Charter '08, a manifesto that urged political reform and criticized the Chinese Communist Party for violating human rights. He was taken into custody in December of 2008, convicted in December of 2009 and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

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