Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, will be unable to accept his award in person. However, Polish Nobel laureate Lech Wałęsa, who received the prize in 1983 for his role as leader of the Solidarity trade union, has declared that he will accept the prize on Mr. Liu’s behalf.
According to the AFP, the prize money and the actual award will remain in Oslo until Mr. Liu is able to accept it, and Mr. Wałęsa will accept it symbolically. Mr. Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison nearly a year ago, for opposing the communist government in China and calling for reform. Mr. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, has been reported to be under house arrest in Beijing.
Mr. Wałęsa told the AFP by phone, “I am ready to represent him, along with other Nobel laureates, to draw public attention to the fact that human rights are being violated, and that the winner of the most important prize for the struggle for freedom is being prevented from coming to collect it”.