President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged China to release Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波).
Ma made the call in his opening remarks to this year’s Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award Ceremony held by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy in Taipei.
Taiwan supports the Nobel Peace Prize Committee’s decision to present the prize to Liu because the country attaches great importance to human rights, Ma said.
“Our concern for human rights acknowledges no nationality or territorial boundary,” Ma said.
After ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights last year, Taiwan will spend two years conducting a comprehensive review of its laws and regulations to ensure that they comply with the two agreements, he said, which will keep Taiwan abreast of world standards in terms of human rights protection.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied a report by Japan’s Sankei Shimbun that Taiwan’s representative office in Norway had applied to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo and been rejected. Norwegian officials might have turned down the application because inviting Taiwan could incur opposition from China, the daily said.
Department of European Affairs Director-General James Lee (李光章) said Norway only invites representatives of countries with which it has diplomatic relations to the ceremony. Lee said he was not aware of Taiwan being invited since the two countries have not had diplomatic relations for many years.