Six countries, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Morocco and Iraq,, have turned down an invitation for their ambassadors in Oslo to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in honour of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo next month. 36 ambassadors had accepted our invitation, 16 had not replied. As each year, the Institute has invited all ambassadors based in the Norwegian capital to attend the December 10 ceremony, and the diplomats had until November 15 to say whether or not they would come.
A number of embassies had requested more time to reach a decision on whether to participate knowing the sensitivities of China about participation in the ceremony. China’s rulers were enraged by the decision to give the 2010 Peace Prize to Liu, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison last December on subversion charges after co-authoring a manifesto calling for political reform in China, and who they consider a “criminal.” The Chinese embassy in Oslo sent a letter to other countries’ missions in the city requesting that they refrain from attending the ceremony. Everyyear, some countries do not participate for unknown reasons. In 2008, for example, 10 ambassadors were not present.
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