Obama Urges China to Free Nobel Laureate Liu

By Staff | December 10, 2010 | 10:52 AM EST

Washington (AP) - President Barack Obama is calling on China to free Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo.

In a statement stressing the importance of democracy and the rule of law, Obama said Liu stands for universal human values and should be released from prison as soon as possible.

Liu's wife is being kept under house arrest. Since no one close to him will be able to accept his prize on Friday in Oslo, it won't be handed out at the Nobel ceremony.

Obama says he regrets that Liu and his wife are being denied the ability to attend the ceremony as he and first lady Michelle Obama did when he won the peace prize last year. Obama said: "Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was."