Liu Xiaobo has been named the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. It is a highly controversial and political move by the committee.
If you are like me, it will be hard for you to understand why such a move could be so political. After all, Liu is a writer. It is his writing that is so controversial, especially to the Chinese government.
The 2008 essay Charter 08 called for freedom in China. It was this essay, and Liu’s peaceful participation in the protests that happened in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989, that angered the Chinese government. They sentenced him in a private hearing, and he is currently serving time for his “crimes.”
He is serving an 11-year term for these acts, and for writing about universal rights such as freedom, equality, democracy, and constitutional rule.
It is not a highly political controversial decision here in the US. But when China heard the announcement, they immediately censored the Nobel Prize news and blacked out media sources.
The Chinese government had warned the Nobel Prize committee not to honor Liu. China made many warnings that the announcement could harm Chinese relations with Norway.
Norway stated that the decision would not harm relations, and that the Norwegian government has no control over the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 was officially awarded to Liu “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”
Liu is the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the third person to win the Prize while being under arrest. It is unclear if he has even heard the news, but his wife is very happy over the announcement. She hopes that it will start a flood of international concern that will lead to the release of her husband from prison.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee based their decision on Liu’s pacifist approach . Liu has always been a strong advocate for peaceful, gradual change.
After his imprisonment, he continued to write, stating, “I have made sacrifices with no regrets. For an intellectual thirsty for freedom in a dictatorial country, prison is the very first threshold. Now I have stepped over the threshold, and freedom is near.”
A bold decision by the Nobel Committee, and one that will inspire peace and justice throughout the world.
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