The Chinese government is visibly upset–and with much reason–by Liu Xiaobo’s winning of the 2010 Nobel peace prize because it puts China’s failing record on human rights into the world spotlight.
Reports out of China are that television stations airing the announcement had “their signals blocked just before the announcement was made,” while the state-run news agency mentioned nothing at all.
Try as they might, the Chinese government couldn’t completely censor word of Mr. Liu’s winning the peace prize, as Chinese citizens using Twitter and other microblogs found out one of their countrymen won the award.
The Chinese government has described Mr. Liu as being a “criminal” and charged him “for inciting subversion of state power.” Here is just one of the “criminal” activities in which Mr. Liu was engaging: “drafting the pro-democracy manifesto known as Charter 08,” which “calls for greater freedom of expression and religion in China, as well as an end to human-rights abuses and authoritarian rule.”
The few who are in power do not like to have their authority put into question. That is why Mr. Liu was handed an 11-year prison sentence. He dared to challenge the status quo. And for that, he was castigated as a criminal and given an unfair prison sentence.
The people of China should be proud that one of their own has won the Nobel peace prize. The government should stop trying to hide its head in the sand and release Mr. Liu immediately, so he can continue with his courageous work.