Silencing Human Rights

December 9, 2010

Tomorrow's Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony to honor jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has cast a spotlight on China's resistance to democratic principles and failure to uphold human rights.

It has been 75 years since the Nobel Laureate was not in attendance. Norwegian actress Liv Ullman will read a text from an essay written by Mr. Liu.

As the Friday ceremony approaches, Chinese officials are rounding up friends and family members of the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and taking them to undisclosed locations or putting them under house arrest.  The Christian Science Monitor reports:
With the approach of Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo honoring this year’s laureate Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese political prisoner, the Chinese government has gone to extraordinarily lengths to stop any of his friends or family from attending the ceremony.

“The scale and diligence of the security forces” in rounding up or silencing Mr. Liu’s supporters in China “is unprecedented” says Nicholas Bequelin, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.
Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest since shortly after her husband won the prestigious prize, and forbidden to make contact with the outside world. Liu’s two brothers have been told they cannot leave the country or talk to reporters.

The Chinese authorities’ harsh response at home to Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel prize has been echoed in Beijing’s vitriolic international campaign against the Norwegian committee that chose Liu, and attempts to persuade governments not to attend Friday’s ceremony.
There has been more fallout concerning the Philippine government's decision to decline the invitation to the ceremony. The Center for International Law (Centerlaw) called the boycott "a blow to the cause of free expression."

Professor Harry Roque, the Chair of Centerlaw said, "More than ever, we are called to uphold free expression is a cornerstone of democracy. We should not have allowed China into bullying us not to attend the ceremony. This is an abdication of our moral duty to the world as the source of people power, of liberal democracy. That was a regrettable decision, because in effect what we did was to support an affront on freedom of expression."

China showed approval of the Philippine government's decision according to GMA News:
Chinese ambassador to Manila Liu Jianchao said, "I appreciate the understanding shown by the Philippine government on the Chinese people and the Chinese government (in boycotting the Nobel peace prize award)."

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only reason why I think that the Philippine government will not send delegates to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is to appease the Chinese government on the hostage crisis happened in Manila a few months ago, which unfortunately a number of HK tourists were killed. As HK is set to have an inquest on that incident, it will be a wise move for the Philippine government to do something about it. And what better way of doing it is by not attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. It surely holds true that whatever the government is doing, it is always at their own interest.

Anonymous said...

The Prof got it right on PI ". We should not have allowed China into bullying us not to attend the ceremony. This is an abdication of our moral duty to the world as the source of people power, of liberal democracy. That was a regrettable decision, because in effect what we did was to support an affront on freedom of expression."

What a shame and outrage!!!!


the teacher

Anonymous said...

The Chinese have many very large investments and also much aid that is under developement in the Phil.
There is also another multi billion project that the Phil. is trying to "ink".
If anyone showed up to represent the Phil.it would jeopardize all of this and more.
Another thing is that the Phil Govt is looking at revisiting the "Visiting Forces Agreement" between the US and the Phil.
In the Phil. Congress, it was suggested, and a move is underway to "sack" the US affiliations and Military aid in Mindanao and elsewhere, and start a similar alliance with the Chinese Govt.that will fill in where the US is today in regards to the Phil.
In other words, "Yankee go home"

The Saipan Blogger said...

I wonder how the USA would react if the wikileaks guy was given a prize?

Anonymous said...

Do you equate what Assange has done to Liu's bravery in calling for democratic reforms in the PRC? If not, it's kind of a stupid question.

Anonymous said...

PI is one of the most corrupt places on earth. the CNMI pales in comparison. Shameless cowards.