Friday, October 08, 2010

Jailed Chinese dissident wins Nobel Peace Prize

World Bulletin, October 8, 2010

Jailed Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for decades of non-violent struggle for human rights, infuriating China, which called the award “an obscenity”.

The prize puts China’s human rights record in the spotlight at a time when it is starting to play a bigger role on the global stage as a result of its growing economic might.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Liu for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China” and reiterated its belief in a “close connection between human rights and peace.”

Liu is serving an 11-year jail term for helping to draw up a manifesto calling for free speech and multi-party elections.

China said the award went against the aims of Alfred Nobel and would hurt ties between China and Norway, which are currently negotiating a bilateral trade agreement.

“This is an obscenity against the peace prize,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement.

But Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said China, the world’s second biggest economy, should expect to be under greater scrutiny as it becomes more powerful, just as the United States was after World War Two.

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