More than 80 doves of peace were set free from cages in the centre of Paris today in a symbolic display of the French people’s support for the release of this year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, jailed Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo.
Reporters Without Borders organised the demonstration on the first day of an official visit to France by Chinese President Hu Jintao. Media personalities, politicians and hundreds of Parisians took part, releasing doves and signing a petition in a show of solidarity with China’s most famous prisoner of conscience.
Participants included Mehdi Ouraoui of the French Socialist Party, J.M. Martin of MODEM, 11th Arrondissement Mayor Patrick Bloche, performers and journalists such as Jean-Michel Ribes, Caroline Fourest, Guy Bedos and Zoé Valdés, and Chinese dissidents.
One might think that President Hu’s host, Nicolas Sarkozy, only reads the Chinese press because he has shown no sign of being aware that Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and nothing has been said about human rights that might “spoil” Hu’s visit.
Reporters Without Borders wrote to President Sarkozy in advance of the visit urging him to intercede with his Chinese counterpart and press for Liu’s release. Unlike Angela Merkel and Barack Obama, Sarkozy has not even congratulated Liu on winning the prize.
More information about Liu Xiaobo: http://en.rsf.org/liu-xiaobo.html