China’s only Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo spent his 60th birthday in jail on Monday. The famous dissident writer is serving an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power” over a political manifesto calling for democracy and an end to one-party rule.

Liu’s supporters, including Amnesty International, posted birthday wishes to him on Twitter. They also called on the Chinese government to release the human rights activist.

Liu’s family thanked well-wishers via the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, RTHK reported.

liu xiaobo 60
Liu Xiaobo (left) and his wife Liu Xia. Photo: Wikicommons.

According to the Centre, Liu’s mother-in-law was unreachable after speaking to the family on Monday. In Guangzhou, three dozen people gathered to celebrate Liu’s birthday. A picture of the gathering was posted on the Weibo microblogging platform, according to RTHK.

In Germany, a group of Liu’s supporters were set to hold a rally to read the writer’s works, reported Rheinische Post. On December 10, a protest was held in front of the Chinese embassy in Berlin to call for Liu’s release. In Hong Kong, demonstrators echoed that call on Christmas day.

Liu was one of the authors of Charter ’08, which was published on December 10, 2008 on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He was convicted in 2009 and was unable to go to Norway to collect his Nobel prize in 2010.

His wife Liu Xia has also been placed under house arrest.

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.