Nobel chair cheers Suu Kyi, wishes freedom for Liu Xiaobo

Nobel chair cheers Suu Kyi, wishes freedom for Liu Xiaobo

Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland today welcomed 1991 Peace Price laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and said he wished China's jailed 2010 recipient Liu Xiaobo could also come to Oslo.

More than two decades after she was awarded the prize, "Aung San Suu Kyi is finally here," he said in a speech for the Myanmar democracy champion, who after years of house arrest is on her first Europe tour in a quarter-century.

"We hope that Liu Xiaobo will not have to wait as long as she has had to before he can come to Oslo." Suu Kyi was under house arrest when she received the award 21 years ago and could not travel to Norway to collect it in person, fearing she would not be allowed to return to the country also known as Burma.

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who wrote a bold manifesto for democracy called Charter 08, was jailed for 11 years for subversion on Christmas Day 2009.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 despite an official Chinese protest but was unable to attend the ceremony, where his chair remained empty. "Other prize laureates who have been unable to come to Oslo to accept their medals have also earned a place in the annals of history," said Jagland.

"Carl von Ossietzky for his battle against Hitler's Germany, Andrei Sakharov and Lech Walesa for their fight against Soviet Communism and Liu Xiaobo for his struggle to promote human rights in China."

Beijing has refused to have any high-level contact with Norway to protest the prize for Liu, which it described as a "farce".

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