Human Rights Day and Yet, China
December 10 was celebrated as Human Rights Day throughout the world, and the Nobel Peace Prize was placed on an empty chair yesterday at Oslo, Norway - the Laureate, Liu Xiaobo (b. 1955), a Chinese writer, professor, and human rights activist was in prison, being imprisoned by the Chinese government last year for 11 years. The Chinese government denied him the right of having a representative collect the prize for him.
Liu is the third person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany's Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi (1991), and the only one other than Ossietzky not to be present or represented by close family at the awards ceremony. The Nobel diploma and the prize was symbolically placed by Jagland on an empty chair meant for the absent laureate. Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann then took to the podium and read I Have No Enemies, a speech by Liu made during his trial in December 2009.
“I, filled with optimism, look forward to the advent of a future, free China. For there is no force that can put an end to the human quest for freedom, and China will in the end become a nation ruled by law, where human rights reign supreme.”
—Liu Xiaobo, I Have No Enemies, 23 December 2009
The proceedings were televised by international media, but broadcast signals on CNN and BBC inside China were reportedly blocked. [Wikipedia]
Let's continue to pray for China that the nation may experience peace and the people live in freedom from all fear of fellowmen. May God give peace to China, the great land that has given so much out of its generous culture to the world! May the officials of the land receive wisdom and understanding from above to see fellow humans with the eyes of God and fulfill their duties to the nation in the spirit of love and justice, without which the world will never be a meaningful place! May God bless China!