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Nobel Peace Prize goes to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo

8th October 2010

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, the awarding body of the prize, said the decision to grant Liu the honour was made because of his 'long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China'.

Liu has fought for civil liberties in China for more than 20 years and was present at the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The activist was also one of the authors of the Charter 08 rights manifesto.

He is currently serving an 11-year jail term for 'inciting subversion of state power', yet maintains his sentence violates fundamental human rights and China's own constitution.

The committee said there is a strong link between peace and human rights, noting that the will of prize founder Alfred Nobel states such rights are essential for 'fraternity between nations'.

In addition, the citation for Liu's award called on China to live up to the 'increased responsibility' that comes with its heightened presence on the world stage.

Past winners of the Nobel Peace Prize include US president Barack Obama, United Nations diplomat and mediator Martti Ahtisaari and political activist Elie Wiesel.
 

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