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Nobel Peace Laureate

  • October 12th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

liu-xiaobo-chinahrworg.jpgThe decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to confer its Peace Prize for 2010 on Liu Xiaobo, a distinguished political prisoner in China, has upset the regime there.

yienanmen-square-tanks.jpgThe Nobel organisation said, 8.8.10, it had chosen Liu, 54,  “for his long and non-violent struggle for human rights in China”.

A university teacher and writer who supported the student democracy protests at Tienanmen Square, in 1989; Liu Xiaobo later ran foul of the authorities for advocating free elections.

He was one of 300 signatories of the Charter 08 document, demanding freedoms for Chinese citizens, on the lines of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Last year he was sentenced to 11 years’ gaol, charged with “subverting the state”.

This week there has been a heavy-handed reaction to the news of his honour on the part of the Communist Party government in Beijing, beginning with declarations that the award was an “obscenity”.

Rights groups including the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, which claims 5000 members and informants inside  the People’s Republic of China, have pieced together reports about a police operation.

These say that police took the Nobel laureate’s wife, Liu Xia,  to see him in prison, where she told him of the award, but that she had either gone missing, or been placed under house arrest with guards around the home.

Police were said to be blockading the road to the prison.

The Chinese government on Monday cancelled a meeting with a Norwegian government Minister, on fisheries, the move interpreted as an act of retaliation over the Nobel organisation’s decision.

The European Union which applauded the Nobel Prize for Liu Xiaobo, has been on record in his support, with a declaration of the European Council, 14.12.09, in part:-

“The Council reiterates its deep concern about the continued detention, indictment and coming  trial of the prominent human rights defender Mr Liu Xiaobo.”

nobel-prize-logo.jpgLiu is reported to have dedicated his prize to the memory of the democracy supporters killed by troops around Tienanmen Square.

Reference

BBC News, London, Liu Xiaobo , 10.10.10. www.bbc.co.uk, (11.10.10).

Council of the  European Union, Brussels, “Declaration of the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the human rights defender Liu Xiaobo”, 14.12.09,  175445/1/09 REV 1 (Presse 378) P137’09. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/cfsp/111920.pdf, (11.10.10).

Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Hong Komg, (home). http://www.hkhkhk.com/english/indexen.html, (11.10.10).

Norwegian Nobel Committee, Oslo,  “The Nobel Peace Prize 2010”,  8.10.10. http://nobelpeaceprize.org/en_GB/laureates/laureates-2010/, (11.10.10).

Peter Foster, “China cancels Norwegian fisheries meeting in response to Li Xiaobo Nobel Prize”, Telegraph, London, 11.11.10. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8055730/China-cancels-Norwegian-fisheries-meeting-in-response-to-Liu-Xiaobo-Nobel-Prize.html, (11.10.10).

Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney,  “Mystery over peace prize winner’s wife”, 11.10.10. http://www.smh.com.au/world/mystery-over-peace-prize-winners-wife-20101010-16dzo.html, (11.10.10).

Pictures

Liu Xiaobo – china_hrw.org; youth at Tienanmen Square remembered – conservativehome.blogs.org; Nobel Prize emblem.

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