The 2010 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize is Liu Xiaobo. It was difficult to say who the winner was going to be after the controversial choice of President Obama last year. This year ,the Norwegian Peace Prize committee decided to go with a safer candidate who would be better received by the public. According to CS Monitor, Liu was one of the top three candidates to receive the prize. He is a currently imprisoned Chinese literary critic. He called for a reformation of Chinese politics and an increase in the standard of human rights provided to Chinese citizens.
The Life of Liu Xiaobo
This poet and literary critic has received the prize “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China,” according to The Official Website of the Nobel Prize.
Liu is fighting for the rights granted in China’s constitution. Article 35 clearly states that Chinese citizens have the freedom of press, assembly, procession, demonstration, association, and last but absolutely not least, speech. These rights are clearly outlined in the constitution and are still ignored by many upper-level Chinese politicians and authority figures. Liu has written poems and other literary works about the blatant violation of these rights. He has not only written but has participated in non-violent protests to encourage authorities to return these stated rights to the people of China. He has become one of the many faces of the fight for human rights.
In 2009, Liu was sentenced to 11 years to be served in jail for “inciting subversion of state power.” After he serves this sentence, he must also suffer two years of “deprivation of political rights.” He received this punishment because he was the leading author of a Manifesto published in 2008. This particular piece of work was published on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human rights from the UN.
Liu believes that the restriction of human rights down to his own punishment are acts against the Constitution of China. The government needs to be held responsible for enforcing the laws they laid out themselves. China currently has the world’s second largest economy, and as such should set an example for the rest of the world. The United States currently has the largest economy, and they put human rights as well as many other constitutional rights at utmost importance. Liu is not the only winner of the Nobel Prize to be imprisoned when the award was given. It is clear that the committee in charge of declaring the winner of the Nobel Peace prize is behind Liu in his efforts to bring a better level of human rights to the citizens of China.
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