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Although Mo has previously said he hopes Liu will be freed soon, he refused to elaborate more on the case.

“On the same evening of my winning the prize, I already expressed my opinion, and you can get online to make a search,” he said, telling the crowd that he hoped they wouldn’t press him on the subject of Liu.

Some, however, have interpreted Mo’s October comments as if he hoped the release of Liu would make the jailed activist see sense and embrace the Communist Party line.

Earlier this week, an appeal signed by 134 Nobel laureates, from Peace Prize winners such as South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Taiwanese-American chemist Yuan T. Lee, called the detention of Liu and his wife a violation of international law and urged their immediate release.

But Mo suggested he had no plans of adding his name to that petition. “I have always been independent. I like it that way. When someone forces me to do something I don’t do it,” he said, adding that has been in his stance in the past decade.

Mo is to receive his Nobel prize along with the winners in medicine, physics, chemistry and economics.

The Nobel Peace Prize is handed out in a separate ceremony in Oslo on the same day.

Associated Press writers Gary Peach in Riga, Latvia, and Alexa Olesen in Beijing contributed to this report.