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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Statement by Vaclav Havel in Support of Charter 08 in China

December 22, 2008

New York, December 19, 2008 (HRW) – Three decades after Vaclav Havel and other rights defenders in the former Czechoslovakia released Charter 77, the former president of the Czech Republic has written to endorse Charter 08, a call for the rule of law and respect for human rights in China signed by more than 300 Chinese intellectuals, lawyers and rights advocates. The English translation is available here: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22210.
 
Human Rights Watch said that the statement by former president Havel should encourage the Chinese government to stop detaining and harassing signatories of the historic charter. In particular, Beijing should release writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, a signatory who was detained on December 8, 2008 and who remains in police custody without access to legal counsel. Further information on Liu’s detention is available at: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/12/10/china-retaliation-signatories-rights-charter.
 
The full text of the statement by Havel is published in the December 19 edition of The Wall Street Journal. It is reprinted below and linked for your reference.
 
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