- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
- Kremlin blocks opposition websites; Kasparov fears Putin plans ‘something drastic’
- Saving trees? EPA wastes $1.5 million storing unneeded pamphlets in warehouse
- Scott Brown Senate bid in New Hampshire may launch soon
- Jeffrey Corzine, son of ex-N.J. governor, dead at 31
- Australian surfing magazine sorry for calling indigenous surfer ‘apeish’
- Records: Man in Fla. theater shooting also was texting
- The Putin problem: U.S. needs Russian rockets for spy satellites
Nobel panel may not hand out Liu’s peace prize
OSLO (AP) — The Nobel Peace Prize may not be handed out this year because China is not likely to let anyone from imprisoned award-winner Liu Xiaobo’s family attend the ceremony, a Nobel official said, calling China’s diplomatic pressure this year unprecedented.
Outraged by the award, Beijing has reportedly clamped down on Mr. Liu’s relatives and pressured other countries not to send representatives to the Dec. 10 award ceremony in Oslo.
Ambassadors from Russia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Iraq have all declined invitations to the ceremony but didn’t specify the reasons, Geir Lundestad, secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee told the Associated Press on Thursday.
“For an embassy to actively try to persuade other embassies to not participate in the ceremony is something new,” Mr. Lundestad said.
The prestigious 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) award can only be collected by the laureate or close family members.
Mr. Liu, a Chinese dissident, is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion after co-authoring an appeal calling for reforms to China’s one-party political system. His wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest and subject to police escort since the award was announced last month.
Mr. Lundestad said no other relatives have announced plans to come to Oslo for the ceremony.
“The way it looks now, it is not likely that someone from his close family will attend,” Mr. Lundestad said. “Then we will not give out the medal and the diploma during the ceremony.”
If that happens, it will be the first time since 1936, when there was no one present to accept the medal and diploma for German journalist Carl von Ossietzky, who was seriously ill and not allowed to leave Nazi Germany. However, a representative of Ossietzky received the prize money only, Mr. Lundestad said.
The Nobel committee has skipped selecting a winner altogether in some years, including during World War II.
“If someone shows up at the last minute, it will not be a problem to change plans,” he said.
Liu Xiaobo has three brothers, the most well-known being Liu Xiaoxuan, the youngest. A Hong Kong-based human rights group has reported that two of the brothers, as well as Liu Xiaobo’s brother-in-law Liu Tong, have been unable to visit Mr. Liu in prison despite repeated requests.
Friends of the couple say all of Mr. Liu’s closest family members are under tight police surveillance aimed at preventing them from attending the ceremony. Liu Xiaoxuan has also been told by his employer not to go, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said.
When reached by phone Thursday, Liu Xiaoxuan said he was not allowed to accept interviews.
TWT Video Picks
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- Warren Buffett's son to spend $23.7 million in effort to save South African rhinos
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- Justice Department refuses info on hundreds of prosecutor misconduct cases
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again