Liu Xiaobo's Nobel win criticized as harming prize's spirit

16:24, October 18, 2010      

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Some countries have lambasted the awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a convicted Chinese criminal, saying the decision runs contrary to the spirit of the accolade and harms its prestige.

Pakistan on Friday said it was surprised and deeply perturbed to learn about the decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, local media APP reported.

Liu was sentenced by the Chinese judicial system and has done nothing that could possibly qualify him for the Nobel Peace Prize, said a statement from Pakistan's Foreign Office.

The statement said that "this decision runs contrary to the established principles for the award of the Prize and therefore cannot but be seen to be detracting from the prestige associated with this award."

"The politicization of the Nobel Peace Prize for the purposes of interference in the domestic affairs of states is not only contrary to the recognized principles of inter-State conduct but also a negation of the underlying spirit conceived by the founder of the Prize," it added.

The Saudi-based Arab News newspaper on Sunday published an article that expressed explicit opposition to the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, saying it goes against the wishes of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the century-old Nobel Peace Prize.

"Whatever Liu may be doing, he is not promoting peace," said the article writer Muhammad Ismail.

"A look at the list of persons so far honored with peace prizes would give the impression that at times the Nobel Committee works as the extension of the U.S. State Department," Ismail said.

"I am sure the results would have frightened Nobel, if he were alive," the writer said at the end of the comment.

A political commentator of Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said in a recently published article that the Nobel Peace Prize has always been extremely politicized.

"In the past few decades, the committee's sympathies have been with the U.S.-NATO-Western Europe camp," Nikolai Troitsky said.

"To prove this, look at the last three Nobel Peace Prize laureates before Liu," the commentator said, referring to U.S. President Barack Obama, Finnish Former President Marti Ahtisaari and Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

According to Troitsky, many people in the world believed that the Committee had compromised its independent status and violated Nobel's last wishes.

Troitsky also pointed out that awarding the 2010 Peace Prize to Liu fit in with the Nobel Committee's trans-Atlantic strategy.

A Norwegian lawyer and peace activist also believed that the Nobel Peace Prize no longer respects Nobel's peace will.

"My legal evaluation of (Alfred) Nobel's will, the first ever, shows that today the prize is Nobel's only in name. In reality, it is the prize of the Norwegian parliament," Fredrik Heffermehl said in an interview early this week.

"Prizes awarded no longer respect Nobel, who wished to support global disarmament," said Heffermehl.

"On the contrary, the prizes (now) reflect the attitudes of Norwegian politicians who believe in military strength, loyalty to NATO, and subservience to the United States of America," he said.

"Again this year, even reminded of its legal obligation, the Nobel Committee did not dare to confront the force most powerful in world affairs -- the military-industrial juggernaut," he added.

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