Liu Xiaobo can look back on a long record of time spent in jail.
After the bloody massacre against the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, Liu - who was already known for his literary criticism and philosophical writings - spent nearly two years in detention because he had defended the students' actions and demanded an investigation of the massacre. He also lost his position as a lecturer at Beijing Normal University.
As the internet developed in China, so so, did Liu Xiaobo become one of the most prolific critics of Chinese attempts to obstruct websites and to persecute internet authors in China.
For his activities, the international group Reporters Without Borders cited Liu Xiaobo in 2004 with its press freedom prize.
Last March, after the unrest in Tibet, Liu Xiaobo and other human rights activists joined in calling for a dialogue between the government and the Dalai Lama, as well as for genuine freedom of religion in Tibet. But they opposed demands for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.