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Friday, October 08, 2010

Fuck You China!

Fuck You China!

Jailed Chinese dissident wins Nobel Peace Prize

Jane Macartney Beijing
Updated 39 minutes ago
(Times £)

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this morning to longtime Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-and-a-half year prison sentence for subversion.

Mr Liu, 54, in the prison cell he shares with five common criminals will be unaware of the honour – unless his guards take the unusual step of informing about events in the outside world.

The committee said he won for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”.

The prize will enrage the Chinese government, which had warned the Committee that relations between Norway and China would suffer if Mr Liu received the prize.

His wife, Liu Xia, had planned to address journalists if her jailed husband won, but was being detained in her Beijing home by three security officials. Earlier in the day, she told The Times: “The police wanted to take me away this morning out of Beijing but I insisted on staying to fight this struggle for Xiaobo.”

Mr Liu was taken by police from his home late in the evening of December 8, 2008 – just hours before the online publication of the “Charter 08” manifesto he had co-authored calling for democracy and freedom of speech.

He was held for six months before being formally arrested and charged with “inciting subversion of state power”. State media accused him of incitement to overturn the socialist system after he organised more than 300 academics and activists to sign the Charter.

He was sentenced on Christmas Day last year to more than 11 years in prison – the most severe term ever handed out on the charge of subversion since its introduction as a crime in 1997.

It was his actions in organising signatures to a document whose content reflected China’s own constitution and which differed little from previous such statements from dissidents that really angered the authorities. The Communist Party is intensely nervous of any attempts at organisation outside its own authority, seeing such actions as a direct threat to its power.

The ebullient academic, who became one of the youngest professors in China when he was appointed in 1984 to a post at the prestigious Beijing Normal University, swiftly gained prominence for his outspoken criticisms of Chinese contemporary literature.

He showed no special interest in politics until the 1989 student demonstrations centred in Tiananmen Square when he flew back from a posting in the United States as a visiting scholar at Columbia University to take part. He staged a hunger strike with three other intellectuals to support the students and helped to negotiate with the army for a safe exit from the Square for the students on the night of June 3-4.

After the army rolled into Beijing to crush the protests on June 4, 1989, Mr Liu spent nearly two years in detention, although he was not formally charged, for his role in the demonstrations.

He was arrested again in the mid-1990s and ordered to serve three years of re-education through labour – an administrative rather than a judicial punishment – for his writings that questioned the role of China’s single-party political system.

Geremie Barme, professor of Chinese history at Australian National University who has known Mr Liu since 1984, said: “One of the reasons that he was awarded this prize is because of his integrity and courage. One would hope that the Chinese government’s response would also reflect integrity and courage.”

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