Chinese activist receives EU’s Sakharov prize

EU dared what the Norwegian Nobel Committee didn’t. AIDS and environmental activist Hu Jia has received the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize for Freedom of Thought. Here are some of the global blogger’s reactions. One of China’s most famous bloggers, Isaac Mao, has written about Hu Jia and his wife Zeng Jinyan’s struggles for freedom earlier. Here is a video produced by his wife

She was named one of the 100 most important people in 2007 by Time magazine (article written by Ariana Huffington). Here is her blog, in Chinese.

5 thoughts on “Chinese activist receives EU’s Sakharov prize

  1. Hi Bente,
    why do you think the Nobel Committee didn’t dare to award its prize to Hu Jia? Is Martti Ahtisaari a less worthy man of peace than Hu Jia?

  2. Hi Justrecently,
    I’m not saying Martti Ahtissary didn’t deserve the Nobel prize, which I honestly believe he does for his yearlong efforts to create peace in several countries around the world.

    But giving the price to Hu Jia would have been more controversial, since China was ready to “punish” Norway, if Hu Jia was awareded, according to this article (in Norwegian) http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/uriks/article2701999.ece
    The Norwegian Foreign Ministry also feared that a huge meeting on human rights in China would be cancelled by the Chinese government if the Chinese activist got the prize.

    But the Nobel committee is independent from the government, and should not listen to these kind of considerations. When I used the word “dare”, that was just a speculation from my side, I must admit.

  3. Just to speculate a bit myself, I think Hu Jia will remain on the Nobel Committee’s shortlist (though I hope that he’ll be free before the Committee would choose him). As for governments, they shouldn’t be afraid of “angering” China. When Chris Patten was governor in Hong Kong, he was in a constant quarrel with Beijing, and at the same time, he had much more backing from London than his predecessors. Nevertheless, business between Britain and China took no serious hits. The Chinese leadership probably understands well enough that sanctions are no one-way street, and they are the last government in such brawls that could use links between political dispute and trade policies. I believe the Nobel Committee won’t be scared to choose whoever they consider an appropriate choice. China is a powerful country, but East and West are inter-dependent.

  4. Pingback: March 12 Online Free Expression day - support Amnesty’s campaign « Bente Kalsnes’ blog

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