New York, October 8, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Chinese government to end its pointless attempts to block the news by blacking out domestic and foreign media coverage of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's announcement awarding jailed human rights activist Liu Xiaobo the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
According to foreign news agencies' reports from China, news of the award is almost non-existent in
Despite such efforts to suppress the news, social media websites and telephone texting have spread the story widely. This recalls a similar reaction in Tibet in March 2008, when activists and visitors used cell phones to spread images of civil unrest there, thwarting efforts by the Chinese government to suppress the news.
In announcing the award, the Nobel
Committee said, "The campaign to establish
universal human rights also in
An English language statement from Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu posted on the ministry's website responded: "This is an obscenity against the peace prize. Liu's actions are diametrically opposed to the aims of the Nobel Prize. Nobel's behest was that the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to somebody who promoted peace between peoples, promoted international friendship and disarmament." The Chinese language version of the statement can be found here.
Liu, 54, was sentenced to an 11-year term on subversion
charges on December 25, 2009. A longtime activist
who had spent several years in prison during the 1990s, he was arrested
2008, the day before a manifesto he wrote with other dissidents and
academics appeared on the Internet. That manifesto, Charter
'08, demanded guarantees of civil liberties, judicial independence and the
end to the Communist Party's hold on state power. The Nobel committee cited
Liu's role in the
Liu's final statement before being jailed, , is available in English on the web site China Digital Times. The site also has a link to the original version in Chinese.