Letter from Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe to Ms. Navanethem Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
I am writing concerning the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on December 10, honoring Chinese human rights defender Liu Xiaobo. This will be only the second time in history that a Nobel Peace Prize recipient has been barred from either attending the event in person or sending a personal representative to accept the prize on his or her behalf. The last time no one was present to accept the Nobel Peace Prize was in 1935.
I believe your December 10th Human Rights Day event is a good opportunity to send a strong message on this issue. It provides you a format to forcefully and visibly stand with human rights defenders and to call for Liu’s immediate release. Your voice is critical in urging China to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all citizens, including the right to travel abroad.