The traditional ceremony surrounding the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo will proceed as planned on December 10, even though the Nobel Committee still doesn’t know who will actually take part, since the winner remains jailed in China.
It’s doubtful whether winner Liu Xiaobo will be allowed to accept his prize, since he’s serving an 11 year prison term after calling for more respect for human rights and personal freedom in China. Chinese officials have considered such calls subversive, and they were most unhappy that he was awarded the Peace Prize, leading to strained relations between China and Norway.
Liu wants his wife, Liu Xia, to accept the prize on his behalf, but she’s been placed under house arrest in Beijing and it’s highly unclear whether the Chinese authorities will allow her to travel to Oslo to receive the award. She reportedly called this week for other dissidents and friends of her husband to make the trip to Oslo to receive the prize.
In a letter circulated over the Internet, Liu Xia urged more than 100 Chinese dissidents, lawyers and professors to accept the prize on her husband’s behalf, reported news bureau AFP. She wrote that her own chances for traveling to Norway were small.
Officials at the Norwegian Nobel Committee said this week that they still hadn’t received any word on who will accept the prize, but were exploring various alternatives. A ceremony will be held and “Liu’s voice will be heard,” Geir Lundestad, secretary for the Nobel Committee, told news bureau NTB.
Lundestad noted that Liu has written several texts, for example, which can be read out loud. Several former Peace Prize winners from former US President Jimmy Carter to Bishop Desmond Tutu have also called on China to release Liu, slightly raising hopes that he may be able to receive his prize after all.
Meanwhile, the website for the Norwegian Nobel Committee reportedly was hacked on Tuesday, from an IP address in Taiwan. Website Aftenposten.no reported that the hackers tried to unleash several so-called “trojans” that can take over a PC, but the Telenor Security Operation Center discovered the hacking attempt and Sigrid Langebrekke of the Norwegian Nobel Institute said it “was no longer dangerous” to visit the Norwegian Nobel site.