Police kept reporters away from the prison where democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion, and the mobile phone of his wife, Liu Xia, was cut off. The authoritarian government continued to censor reports about Liu’s award.
But one of Liu Xiaobo’s brothers, Liu Xiaoxuan, said the prison meeting would be on Sunday, citing information from Liu Xia’s mother. He did not say why the meeting apparently had been delayed.
Chinese authorities, who called Liu a criminal shortly after his award on Friday and said his winning “desecrates the prize,” sank Saturday into official silence. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao didn’t answer a question about the prize that was submitted on Friday for a joint news conference in Turkey with that country’s premier.
Only the state-run Global Times newspaper spoke out on Saturday. An editorial in its Chinese-language edition called the award “an arrogant showcase of Western ideology” and said it disrespected the Chinese people.
But one newspaper cartoonist, Kuang Biao, posted an image on his blog on Friday of a Nobel prize medal behind bars. Another well-known blogger, Ran Yunfei, wrote on Saturday, “In an era in which the Internet is gradually making information available to everyone, trying to hide from any Chinese the news that Liu Xiaobo has won the Nobel Peace Prize is hopelessly stupid behaviour — the more one tries to hide it, the more obvious it becomes.”