PAN-PEN, the Pan African Network of International PEN has congratulated Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned Chinese writer for winning the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. PAN is made up of the African Centres of International PEN, the worldwide forum for writers and freedom of expression advocates. The congratulatory message, reproduce in full below, which was signed by PAN’s Secretary, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah also appealed to the Chinese authorities to release the Nobel Laureate:

“The Pan African Network of International PEN has received with much joy the announcement that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 has been awarded to Chinese imprisoned literary critic Liu Xiaobo. We note with pride that his nomination to the Nobel Committee was made by one of our colleagues, American PEN President, Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah. We wish to associate our Network with the congratulatory and solidarity messages that have since been pouring in to Mr. Xiaobo. Even though the Award was made in the name of Mr. Xiaobo, the honour belongs to all who believe in the freedom of expression and the power of the word over government oppression and political brute force. May this Award encourage us all to continue on the path of peace and freedom for mankind using that very simple and basic tool of the word, written or spoken and may it also give Liu and his family the fortitude to continue bearing the predicament he currently finds himself in. May it also encourage the Chinese authorities to release Mr. Xiaobo from incarceration.”