Nobel Peace Prize Awarded To An Empty Chair

WASHINGTON POST: The blue-and-white upholstered chair reserved for him was empty. His words were spoken not in his own voice, but by the Norwegian actress and movie director Liv Ullmann. While the Nobel committee honored him with its prestigious Peace Prize in Oslo on Friday, Chinese dissident and intellectual Liu Xiaobo sat in isolation in a jail cell, some 4,000 miles away. Yet his campaign to bring individual freedoms and democracy to China was recognized at a ceremony made more visible, in many ways, by Beijing’s efforts to suppress it. MORE

CBS NEWS: Liu Xiaobo is hardly a household name inside China. Most people have never heard of the man who is the first person of Chinese origin to win a Nobel Prize while living in China. Liu is a political philosopher who first angered the Chinese government in 1989, when he was involved in orchestrating peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that ended with a military crackdown. Decades later, Liu co-wrote Charter 08, a petition calling for multi-party democracy in China. He has spent much of his life in and out of prison, often living under house arrest. Within the small community of people who are familiar with Liu Xiaobo’s work, not everyone is comfortable with the idea that the Nobel was given to a single Chinese activist. MORE

THE GUARDIAN: When the Nobel committee announced it was honouring Liu Xiaobo in October, a handful of daring supporters proclaimed their delight outside his Beijing flat, despite a heavy police presence. Tonight, there was no such sign of dissent near his old home. But then, nor was there an entrance. By a peculiar coincidence, local authorities had chosen this week to dig up the pavement around the gates of his complex. The rest of the street was intact. “Work in progress. Apologies for inconvenience and thank you for your understanding,” read a banner on the blue metal hoardings that blocked the view of the entrance. Journalists were shepherded into a small pen close by. MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *