China’s Most Famous Dissident Wins Nobel Peace Prize While in Jail

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Photo: Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Images

Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident currently serving an eleven-year prison term for subversion, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for “his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Liu, a political essayist and advocate for democracy, was sentenced in 2009 after he co-authored Charter 08, a manifesto calling for political reform and human rights. Liu has been harassed and detained since his role in the events at Tiananmen Square in 1989, where he negotiated the peaceful retreat of student demonstrators while armed soldiers stood by. His wife, Liu Xia, said it was unlikely that he had heard and was packing her bags under police surveillance to go tell him the news. After the announcement, China acknowledged Liu's achievements and vowed to scale back its increasing intolerance of domestic dissent called the decision a "blasphemy" to the peace prize and said it would harm Norwegian-Chinese relations. Liu's lawyer told CNN that the prize could mean a longer prison sentence for his client. "I hope that he'd be released earlier because of the prize, but in reality, that will not happen."

Nobel Peace Prize Given to Jailed Chinese Dissident [NYT]
Chinese dissident wins Nobel Peace Prize [CNN]