The currently imprisoned Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo today, a fact greeted by the Chinese government with the expected harsh criticism.
Mr. Liu is currently serving a jail sentence of 11 years that commenced in December 2009, mainly for co-authoring the Charter ‘08, a manifesto that called for free speech and multi-party elections in the People's Republic.
The price was awarded to the Chinese political essayist and democracy advocate even though recent weeks have seen the Chinese government actually warning Norway not to award the prestigious prize to Liu Xiaobo (born 12/28/1955), claiming that a man serving a sentence for subversion does not qualify for an honor as this one. In China, it seems, one does not understand the difference between the government of Norway and the independent committee which decides which individual is being honored.
Also, what Chinese authorities regard as subversion is seen as something else in most European nations, and the reason Mr. Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today is because he was "helping to spearhead a campaign for more freedom in China," reports the Washington Post, and "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."
The Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland also stated "The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace."
During the last twenty years, Liu has been in and out of jail several times for publicly stating his beliefs, by writing open letters and by challenging the state he lives in.
The prize will be presented on December 10 in Oslo, a ceremony Mr. Liu cannot attend, including a cheque of $1.5 million. The New York Times reports that Liu Xia, his wife, has said that it is unlikely her husband would learn of the news right away, because he cannot communicate except through actual letters by snail mail.
The above video is from 2008 and has English subtitles.