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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Minnick addresses UI grads

Associated Press

MOSCOW, Idaho – Congressman Walt Minnick says he plans to introduce a resolution in the House of Representatives calling on lawmakers to join him in demanding the Chinese government release prominent dissident writer Liu Xiaobo.

Minnick, R-Idaho, addressed University of Idaho graduates at a commencement ceremony on Saturday, urging them to become leaders and join him in spearheading efforts to free the 53-year-old detained Chinese writer.

Police took Liu away Dec. 8, a day before the publication of a document he co-authored calling for more robust civil rights and an end to the Communist Party’s political dominance in China.

Minnick urged the 1,300 college graduates to write letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in support of the cause.

He also asked them to complete four other tasks that would teach them something about themselves and prepare them for leadership: commit to a week of working for free and giving back to society, spend three days alone in a remote tent or cabin, give up a favorite comfort for 30 days, and make amends to the person they had most hurt while at the university.

“I know that you are about to set forth into a world beset with staggeringly difficult, monumental problems,” Minnick said.

“You cannot lead others unless you can face up to and deal with your own shortcomings,” he said.

Minnick told graduates their education had prepared them to face and overcome sobering challenges, such as global warming, overpopulation, nuclear proliferation and lack of access to education faced by much of the world’s population.

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