Members of Nobel Peace Prize committee flank a chair left empty for Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who remains in jail in China. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

News of Nobel ceremony censored in China

New York, December 10, 2010–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Chinese authorities’ censorship of news reports covering today’s ceremony in Oslo awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned writer Liu Xiaobo.

Local news outlets did not report on the ceremony, while international news websites including CNN and the BBC were blocked within China from Thursday, according to The New York Times. Foreign television news, which only air in select locations catering to overseas visitors, was blacked out for the duration of segments about the prize, according to international news reports. 

“Liu Xiaobo’s sentence is an injustice, and censoring news of his award compounds that injustice,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator. “People in China should be allowed full access to global news and opinion, even when it is distasteful to Chinese authorities.”

Liu was arrested in December 2008 for his role in drafting Charter 08, a petition for democratic reform, and sentenced to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion against the state in December 2009 in a verdict that cited articles published on overseas websites.  

China also censored news reports in October when the prize was announced, and hackers have recently targeted human rights organizations with a focus on China.