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Nobel Peace laureate and Chinese national Liu Xiaobo, who is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for “inciting subversion of state power,” was not present at the December 10 ceremony honoring his prize. Nor was his wife, who has been under house arrest since the Nobel announcement and is apparently now missing.
Instead, an empty chair sat on the Oslo stage between the Nobel Committee members, marking the first time a recipient was not physically present to accept the award. And as panel chief Thorbjoern Jagland placed the Nobel diploma on the chair, it was clear Liu’s presence was felt by the 1,000-person audience, who delivered a standing ovation.
The honoree’s final public statement, issued days before his imprisonment and read aloud at the Nobel ceremony by actress Liv Ullmann, included a message (translated here) for his beloved:
If I may be permitted to say so, the most fortunate experience of these past twenty years has been the selfless love I have received from my wife, Liu Xia. She could not be present as an observer in court today, but I still want to say to you, my dear, that I firmly believe your love for me will remain the same as it has always been. Throughout all these years that I have lived without freedom, our love was full of bitterness imposed by outside circumstances, but as I savor its aftertaste, it remains boundless. I am serving my sentence in a tangible prison, while you wait in the intangible prison of the heart. Your love is the sunlight that leaps over high walls and penetrates the iron bars of my prison window, stroking every inch of my skin, warming every cell of my body, allowing me to always keep peace, openness, and brightness in my heart, and filling every minute of my time in prison with meaning. My love for you, on the other hand, is so full of remorse and regret that it Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Liu Xiaobo’s Empty Chair
Filed under: Activists, China, Great Loves, Human Rights, I Have No Enemies, Imprisonment, Liu Xia, Liu Xia Missing, Liu Xiaobo, Liu Xiaobo Empty Chair, Nobel Committee, Nobel Diploma, Nobel Laureates, Nobel Peace Prize, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo, Oslo, Political Reform, Standing Ovation, Tears, Thorbjoern Jagland
When asked for copies of the emails, Yahoo! handed them over immediately, as well as information about anonymous online postings by three other men that led to convictions for political crimes (all but one are still serving their time in jail).
No questions asked.
I don’t know about you guys, but it’s times like these that I’m glad I use Gmail.
Jim Carrey, who we actually take kinda seriously, recently appeared in a PSA for a cause we take very seriously: supporting the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The spot also calls attention to Burma’s military regime, which recruits more child soldiers than any other country in the world, has destroyed 3,000 villages in eastern Burma, and forced 1.5 million refugees to flee. The star urges us towards two great organizations, The Human Rights Action Center and U.S. Campaign for Burma. All very good things.
So why am I busy fighting awkward tingles and looking at Carrey’s hair?
Four words of advice: MORE TEXT. LESS FACE.
Sometimes well intended things go awry. Let’s just try harder next time!
They’ve got the right idea:
The Human Rights Action Center
U.S. Campaign for Burma