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It's Nobel Time: Peace It's Nobel Time: Peace
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It's Nobel Time: Peace

by Morgan Clendaniel

October 11, 2010
And the winner is Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Chinese dissident. Just like the oddsmakers said. Liu is a human rights activist in China currently serving an 11-year jail term. It's the third time the Peace Prize has gone to someone in jail, and the first time it has gone to a Chinese person. Before prison, Liu was a tireless proponent of China giving more human rights to his citizens. His arrest was a result of his creation of an online petition, demanding the Chinese government grant its citizens basic human rights. Instead of doing so, it arrested him.

China, acting like it was desperately trying to confirm why its jailed human rights activists should receive the Peace Prize, denounced the decision:

The Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted angrily to the news, calling it a “blasphemy” to the Peace Prize and saying it would harm Norwegian-Chinese relations. “Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law,” it said in a statement.

If you live in China, of course, you have no idea, because the news wasn't reported and CNN was blocked out. Liu, in prison, has no access to a phone, so won't learn about the prize for some time. Congratulations, Mr. Liu. May this prize speed your release from jail. Though you have to wonder if the Nobel Committee didn't just make his life in prison a whole lot worse.

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