Today, the Norwegian Nobel Price Committee announced the recipient of this years Nobel Peace Prize. They have awarded Liu Xiaobo, currently a political prisoner in China. The motivation was: "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". For this decision, I thank the Committee. When President Barack Obama won the Peace Prize last year, many were skeptical (me included). The discussions that followed were not about peace or unifying greatness, but about fairness and political power. However, this year, I believe all of humanity who believes in democracy and freedom from oppression are and will be celebrating Liu Xiaobo.
Liu Xiaobo has been fighting for human rights and freedom in China for the past 20 years. He knew what he wanted and he was never afraid to take the road less travelled. The passion and conviction in combination with intellect and academic excellency gave him a powerful and international platform to stand on. But even with a promising career in the US he never forgot where he came from. He stood on Tiananmen Square alongside other freedom lovers and for that he was jailed. But that didn't stop him. He continued his non-violent march to make China a democracy. He is now serving his forth term in prison and is scheduled to be released in 2020.
Needless to say, the Chinese Government is furious! The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued an official statement saying: "The Nobel Peace Prize is meant to award individuals who promote international harmony and friendship, peace and disarmament. Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law. Awarding the peace to Liu runs completely counter to the principle of the award and is also a desecration of the Peace Prize."
Some might speculate on how this peace prize will affect Chinese-Norwegian relations, how this will affect Chinese policies, for the better or worse and ultimately how this will affect Liu Xiaobo. But one thing is for sure, all of these concerns were already in the minds of the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee when they made their decision. I applaud them for their choice. A man like Liu Xiaobo deserves our global and unified support.
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