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Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Hong Kong demonstration for Liu Xiaobo Hong Kong demonstration for Liu Xiaobo

There was no one in Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the winner, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Beijing has not only imprisoned him for 11 years, but recently they have taken his wife, and fellow dissident, Liu Xia into custody as well, along with everyone else in his circle of friends and family. China is desperately trying to save face, even though the Nobel Committee has refused that nation’s demands to award the Prize to anybody else, except Liu Xiaobo. In his absence, the Prize was awarded to a very symbolic empty chair.

A former university professor, Xiaobo got involved with the democracy movement when he took part with some of his students in the events on Tiananmen Square in 1989. For those who might not remember, the Chinese authorities put an end to that brief flirtation with democracy by ordering a bloodbath. Hundreds of students and their bicycles were crushed under the threads of army tanks or shot by the People’s Liberation Army, an ironic title if there ever was one.

Xiaobo has been in jail three times since Tiananmen Square, and he was the driving force behind the publication of Charter 08, a manifesto advocating freedom of speech, human rights, and the election of public officials. These things, which we take for granted in the West, seem to be a threat to the Communists, who are willing to do anything to cling to power in China. It took a great deal of courage for Xiaobo and his fellow dissidents to stand up to the power elite in their country of 1.3 billion people. This courage was obviously recognized by the Nobel Committee in Norway.

As reported in the media, Thorbjorn Jagland, chair of the Norwegian Nobel committee, said Liu was awarded the prize for his "long and non-violent struggle for fundamental rights in China." Jagland said awarding the prize to Liu was not "a prize against China," and he urged Beijing that as a world power it "should become used to being debated and criticized."

"Liu has only exercised his civil rights; he has done nothing wrong. He must be released," he said, drawing a standing ovation from the audience. Among the attendees was Rosebud Magazine's December cover subject, Denzel Washington.

With China’s incredible industrial and economic growth, it’s easy to forget that they are still a Communist country. They still look up to Mao Tse Tung, perhaps not as much as in the past, but as far as I know his portrait still hangs in Tiananmen Square, and throwing an egg at it can land you in jail for quite a few years. You must remember that Mao was one of history’s greatest mass murderers, alongside Hitler and Stalin.

In fact, the Chinese state is still guilty of crimes against humanity, not just by imprisoning university professors who are thirsting for democracy, but also by cutting the organs out of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners, while they are still alive, and then selling these organs on the global market for such things. They also back up murderous regimes like the ones in North Korea and Sudan, supplying them with arms and diplomatic backup, vetoing U.N. resolutions against them from their power position on the United Nations Security Council.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu called any international supporters of Liu Xiaobo “clowns.” In fact, China is exhibiting unusual assertiveness in trying to counteract this embarrassment. They called on all nations invited to Friday’s Oslo ceremonies to boycott the event. Aside from China’s usual cronies, it is surprising to see Saudi Arabia among the list of countries that have boycotted the ceremony. Why? China is the Saudi’s largest customer for their oil!

According to Jiang Yu, we’re all “clowns” who are supporting a “criminal bent on causing social and political upheaval” and are guilty of “flagrant interference in China’s sovereignty.”

Some years ago, when the Dalai Lama received his Nobel Peace Prize, China was a bit more subdued in its public statements. Perhaps they have been emboldened by all that new money in their coffers. However, the people who ordered the Tiananmen Square massacre are still scot free! Who are the real criminals? Those who write and sign manifestos or those who shed the blood of their own students and intellectuals, in order to stay in power.

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Liu Xiaobo's win is explained on Democracy Now
Last modified on Monday, 29 October 2012 07:15

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