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Liu Xiaobo

October 8, 2010 by staff 

Liu Xiaobo, The award of the Nobel Peace Prize 2010 to the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is a precedent occasional recognition of human rights activists are either imprisoned or subjected to state restrictions or harassment.

In announcing the prestigious award, the President of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjoern Jagland Liu cited for his “his long struggle and nonviolent fundamental human rights in China.” Liu is currently serving a prison sentence of 11 years in China for inciting subversion of state power.

In response to the award, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Zhaoxu, said Liu was a “convicted criminal” whose actions were “in complete contradiction to the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo wins Nobel Peace Prize

But Geir Lundestad, director of the Nobel Institute, said the Nobel Committee had a tradition “very strong for the award for human rights activists of many different types.

“This is a very proud tradition, and this is a tradition for the Norwegian Nobel Committee has received much applause,” said Lundestad.

“We feel that if they were serious about this tradition, it had to come to terms with the issue of China in this perspective, then this is what made this year.”

Unless Liu is launched to collect their prize in Oslo in December, will join a list of awards, including Myanmar pro-democracy Aung San Suu Kyi, Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov and Lech Walesa the Polish trade union leader who could not receive his medal in person.

Suu Kyi was awarded the prize in 1991 for his “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” a year after his party for Democracy won a landslide victory in national elections. But the result was suppressed by the country’s military rulers. Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest and has remained in detention for most of the time since then.

His acceptance speech was delivered by his son, Alexander Aris, who said: “It is my deepest hope that … the governing board can still pay attention to these basic resources for humanity as the Nobel Committee has expressed This year the prize award. ”

Myanmar leaders said earlier this month that Suu Kyi would be released in the days of November, after the country’s first elections in two decades. But Suu Kyi’s lawyers have expressed skepticism about the commitment of the Board.

Sakharov, a Soviet nuclear physicist turned human rights activist, won the award in 1975, but was not allowed to leave the Soviet Union to collect his award. Instead, his acceptance speech was read by his wife Elena Bonner Sakharov.

“Please remember that the honor was given what to me is shared by all prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries, as well as those who fight for their release,” Sakharov , on behalf of her husband.

In 1979, Sakharov was banished to the closed city of Gorky, now Nizhny Novgorod, and lived in constant alertness until his return to Moscow in 1986 as the policy of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika saw many dissidents freed.

Polish union leader Lech Walesa, known for his work as leader of the anti-communist Solidarity movement, could not collect their prize of peace in 1983, fearing that he was not allowed to return freely to Poland if he did, according to the Lech Walesa Institute website . Instead, he sent his wife, Danuta, and his son, Bogdan, to Oslo in his name.

Walesa had been frequently arrested and placed under state supervision since mid 1970, when martial law was imposed in Poland in 1981, Walesa was arrested and detained for nearly a year in a remote farmhouse.

“With deep grief I think of those who paid with their lives for loyalty to Solidarity, from behind prison bars and who are victims of repression,” Walesa said in an acceptance speech read by his wife.

In 2009, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, expressed concern about the treatment of Nobel Peace Prize Shirin Ebadi, claiming that the medal winner of 2003 had been confiscated by the regime in Tehran. Norway Ebadi also said her husband had been arrested and severely beaten.

But Iran denies seizure of the medal, and said Ebadi was the subject of a tax evasion probe.

Ebadi received the award for its approach to human rights, especially in the fight to improve the situation of women and children. Following the arrest of her sister, told CNN earlier this year that said he had been warned to stop their human rights activities.

“In the past six months have put pressure on me, as well as members of my family, my husband, my brother and my sister, who were called on several occasions to the Ministry of Intelligence and told him that if I did not stop the human rights activities would be arrested. ”

Argentine human rights activist Adolfo Esquivel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980, after spending a year in prison without trial between 1977 and 1978. Was cited for raising awareness about the “dirty war” waged by Argentina’s military rulers, who saw thousands of political opponents vanish without a trace, “the Nobel Prize website.

In 1960, the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize of the president of the ANC, Albert Lutuli, for his work in opposition to the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Lutuli spent nearly a year in prison between 1956 and 1957 on treason charges were withdrawn later. A number of travel bans Lutuli limited to a 15-mile radius around your house and in 1960 was arrested and sentenced to suspended prison sentence for publicly burning their identity papers in a gesture of solidarity with the demonstrators killed in the slaughter of Sharpeville .

Lutuli fellow ANC, Nelson Mandela, imprisoned from 1964 to 1990, had to wait until after their release to win the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing the honor with the end of apartheid in South Africa, President FW de Klerk, for work the couple to end racial segregation.

anti-Nazi activist and journalist Carl von Ossietzky was the first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded while in prison in Germany in the mid 1930′s. Von Ossietzky had already served a prison sentence of seven months between 1931 and 1932 for betraying military secrets after he published an article revealing details of secret rearmament of Germany.

In February 1933, with Hitler consolidate his grip on power, von Ossietzky was arrested by the secret police and imprisoned, first in Berlin and then in the concentration camps and Esterwegen Sonnenburg Papenburg, where fellow inmates, said he was forced to hard labor, despite suffering a heart attack.

After being cited for the peace prize in 1935, Berlin has refused to release him to collect the prize in 1936 and demanded that the fall of honor, that von Ossietzky refused to do so. TB patient remained in captivity and then in the hospital under guard until his death in 1938.

According to the Nobel Prize website, the Von Ossietzky last public appearance was at a court hearing where his lawyer was sentenced to two years hard labor for embezzlement of most of their awards.

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