Snubbing the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, what?

By Kelsey Duckett

Six countries, including China, Russia and Iraq, have turned down an invitation for their ambassadors in Oslo to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in honor of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo next month.

According to the article, 36 ambassadors had accepted the invitation to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, 16 had not and six said no. Each year the Institute invites all ambassadors based in the Norwegian capital to attend the Dec. 10 event, each diplomat had until Nov. 15 to respond.

“The six who have said no are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Morocco and Iraq,” said Nobel Institute director Geir Lundestad told AFP.

A number of embassies requested more time to reach a decision on whether or not to participate following threats from Beijing of “consequences” for countries that support Liu. The Chinese embassy sent letters urging other countries’ to refrain from attending the event.

So why the snubbing?

China’s rulers were enraged by the decision to give the 2010 Peace Prize to Liu, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison last December on subversion charges after co-authoring a manifesto calling for political reform in China, and who they consider a “criminal.”

Despite the warning, most Western countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Germany have said they will attend.


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