Friday, October 8, 2010

Chinese dissident Liu wins Nobel Peace Prize

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In naming Liu, the Norwegian-based committee honored his more than two decades of advocacy for human rights and peaceful democratic change.


By The Associated Press
Published: October 9, 2010

BEIJING — China has long wanted a Nobel Prize. Now that it has one, its leaders are furious.

The Nobel committee awarded its peace prize Friday to imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo, lending encouragement to China's dissident community and sending a rebuke to the authoritarian government, which sharply condemned the award.

In naming Liu, the Norwegian-based committee honored his more than two decades of advocacy for human rights and peaceful democratic change — from the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989 to a manifesto for political reform that he co-authored in 2008 and which led to his latest jail term.

President Barack Obama, last year's peace prize winner, called for Liu's immediate release.

Congratulations buzzed through Chinese instant messaging sites before censors scrubbed postings and blocked cell phone text messages that contained the characters for Liu's name.

"Last year, I noted that so many others who have received the award had sacrificed so much more than I,” Obama said. "That list now includes Mr. Liu, who has sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs.”

The contretemps points to the sticky predicament the prize poses for the communist leadership.

Liu is the first Chinese and first member of the much persecuted group of political activists to be given the peace prize, but he is virtually unknown among ordinary Chinese. The award is likely to carry his name and his call for democracy to a wider audience, especially among young Chinese who are avid Internet and cell phone users.

"Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said. "The Nobel committee's decision to award such a person the peace prize runs completely counter to the principle of the prize and also desecrates the prize.”



Read more: http://newsok.com/chinese-dissident-liu-wins-nobel-peace-prize/article/3502934#ixzz11prb49Je

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