H.Res. 1717 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Tuesday, December 7, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on November 16, 2010.
H.Res. 1717 would resolve that the House of Representatives:
- “Congratulates Liu Xiaobo on the award of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize;
- “Honors Liu Xiaobo's promotion of democratic reform in China, and the courage with which he has bore repeated imprisonment by the Government of China;
- “States that in honoring Liu Xiaobo, it also honors all those who have promoted democratic reform in China, including all those who participated in the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration for democratic reform;
- “Asserts that Liu Xiaobo is a political prisoner, and that Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's supporters, and all signers of Charter 08 who have been detained, placed under house arrest, or harassed, are the victims of political persecution;
- “Calls on the Government of China to release Liu Xiaobo from prison, and to release Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's supporters, and all signers of Charter 08 from detention, house arrest, and harassment;
- “Calls on the Government of China to cease censoring media and Internet reporting of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo and to cease its campaign of defamation against Liu Xiaobo;
- “Urges President Barack Obama to continue to work for the release of Liu Xiaobo from prison, as well as the release of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's supporters, and all signers of Charter 08 from detention, house arrest, and harassment; and
- “Emphasizes that violations of human rights in general, and the persecution of Liu Xiaobo, Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's supporters, and all signers of Charter 08 specifically, are matters of legitimate concern to other governments.”
Since 1989, Liu Xiaobo has been a leading figure promoting democratic reform and respect for human rights, including by writing hundreds of notable essays on these subjects. On December 8, 2008, the Government of China detained Liu Xiaobo for his role in Charter 08, a manifesto that proposed democratic reform in China, and found him guilty of "inciting subversion of state power" in 2009 and sentenced him to 11 years imprisonment.