The Communist Party is amping up the pressure on Norway to bar human rights campaigner, Liu Xiaobo, from receiving the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. A Chinese official who met with the Director of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, put forth this stern warning, “[Such a decision] would pull the wrong strings in relations between Norway and China, it would be seen as an unfriendly act,”
China is pushing more aggressively against Liu after Czech dissident, Vaclav Havel, called on the Nobel Peace Committee to award the human rights activist. Liu has been actively campaigning in China for decades but is most famous for Charter 08, a manifesto which challenged the government on issues of freedom of expression, human rights, and open elections.
In 2008, Liu was arrested on charges “inciting subversion of state power” and is currently serving his eleven year sentence.
Liu isn’t the only one the government has to worry about receiving recognition from the Nobel Peace Committee. There was a noticeable number of Chinese dissidents nominated for the prize this year including human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, blind activist Chen Guangcheng, and ex-CCP official Bao Tong.
But despite China’s admonitions, the committee seems quite unruffled. Lundestad says, “China has come with warnings before, but they have no influence on the committee’s work.” In fact, the Dalai Lama won the prize in 1989, the year of the Tiananmen Square protests much to the dismay of Chinese authorities.
The winner will be announced soon on Friday, October 8th just as the nation comes back from the week-long national holiday.