This year's Nobel Peace Prizewinner, Liu Xiaobo also has a lot to do with literature. But he won't be collecting his prize as the Chinese authorities sentenced him to eleven (11) years in prison for evidently "fomenting the subversion of the state" or some such charge.
I read about him this morning in today's Upsala Nya Tidning, a liberal (in the European and British sense) Swedish daily. The article was a leader.
They had, in turn, received their information from American PEN. See: PEN American Center - China: Liu Xiaobo
A few excerpts from the Swedish article:
Well, there you are, another Nobel prize involving literature, this time awarded in Oslo by the Norwegian branch of the Nobel organisation. But unlike Mario Vargas Llosa, he won't be able to collect his prize.Liu has worked as a professor of literature at the University of Peking and as guest researcher at several foreign universities. He took part in demonstrations on Tiananmen Square in the spring of 1989 and played a key role in preventing further bloodshed.
Liu was one of the authors of the Charta 08 manifesto which, apart from demanding freedom of expression and other normal human rights, also demanded an end to the one-party system in China. In December 2009 Liu was sentenced to eleven year's imprisonment for "fomenting the subversion of the state". He is today one of the most important symbols for another China to the one possible today. (...)
Today, it looks as if it will be impossible for Liu to come to Oslo or accept the prize in any other way, i.e. in China. The reactions of the Chinese r?gime yesterday say it all: Liu's wife, Liu Xia, was put in what amounts in practical terms to house arrest, CNN's news broadcasts were blocked, and a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs showered the laureate with insults. Earlier, the r?gime threatened Norway with worsened relations should Liu win the prize. The fact that the Nobel Committee is independent and not part of the Norwegian state apparatus is clearly a distinction that the totalitarian r?gime cannot allow itself to recognise.