BBC News reporting on Liu Xiaobo (pronounced Liew Sheeow-boh
China has angrily condemned the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
The Beijing government summoned the Norwegian ambassador in protest. It called Mr Liu a “criminal”, saying the award violated Nobel principles and could damage relations with Norway.
The Norwegian Nobel committee said Mr Liu was “the foremost symbol” of the struggle for human rights in China.
US President Barack Obama called for Mr Liu’s immediate release.
“We call on the Chinese government to release Mr Liu as soon as possible,” Mr Obama, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, said in a statement.
“Over the last 30 years, China has made dramatic progress in economic reform and improving the lives of its people, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.
“But this award reminds us that political reform has not kept pace, and that the basic human rights of every man, woman and child must be respected,” Mr Obama said.
Other Western countries have also urged China to release Mr Liu.
‘Insult’Mr Liu, 54, was a key leader in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.
Last year he received an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion” after drafting Charter 08 – which called for multi-party democracy and respect for human rights in China.
Announcing its 2010 peace prize in Oslo, the Nobel Foundation said: “Liu has consistently maintained that the sentence violates both China’s own constitution and fundamental human rights.”