The fight for democracy has been a life long struggle for Liu Xiaobo.
The former literature professor is a veteran dissident who’s been a constant thorn in the government’s side.
As one of China’s most prominent critics, he’s often been subjected to house arrest and jail terms.
None have managed to quell his fervour for poltical freedom.
In 1995 he said: “The voice of the people will not be silenced, even if the government keeps up its pressure. If people continue to protest, the government will have to listen.”
On his return from teaching at Columbia University in 1989 he joined student protestors on a hunger strike – days before the army crushed the Tianamen Square pro-democracy movement.
He was imprisoned without charge for a year and a half for his part in the uprising. Then he was sent to a labour part for reducation between 1996 and 1999.
But that only hardened his resolve. Liu helped organise the “Charter 08” petition which called for sweeping political reforms.
That brought him another spell behind bars. Liu was jailed for 11 years on Christmas Day last year for inciting subervision against the state.
Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, who last saw him just over a year ago said his spirits were good, but his health is a growing concern.