In addition to the empty chair in Norway, internet users in China found empty content online. People in China who are looking to find accurate and timely access to news and information have it pretty tough these days. Radio Free Asia is always blocked by the Chinese government and people have to use proxies to listen to or view news. The BBC is reporting today that their website is back up and running in China, after it was blocked beginning around the time of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo last Friday. CNN and the Norwegian broadcaster NRK were also blocked during this time.
Texts with the words ”Nobel Prize” or “Liu Xiaobo” were blocked in China as well over the past few days.
Liu’s wife has been under house arrest, with her telephone and internet cut off, since it was announced in October that her husband was awarded the prize. Police blocked the entrance to her home on Friday, barring journalists from speaking with her.
At the award ceremony, Nobel committee chairman Torbjorn Jagland said, “Liu has only exercised his civil rights. He has not done anything wrong. He must be released.” The audience rose and gave Liu a standing ovation.
Liu was unable to accept his award because he is serving an eleven year prison sentence for ”inciting subverstion of state power”. You can read Liu’s final statement before his incarceration in December 2009 here and watch a video on his view about ”freedom” of expression in China.