The furor around this years choice for the Nobel Peace Prize continues. China has blocked the visits of a number of European diplomats on Monday who were planning to visit the wife of winner, and jailed Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo.
The authorities also cut off Liu’s wife’s telephone lines and cancelled meetings with Norwegian officials. It has warned that the choice of prize winner this year will hurt relations between Norway and China, despite the Nobel Committee, which resides in Norway, being an independent body from the government.
China has also cancelled meeting between Chinese and Norwegian officials.
UN human rights experts have called on China to release Liu, and other ‘prisoners of conscience’ from Chinese jails, but the authorities have remained enraged, rather than conciliatory after the award was named.
Liu was permitted a brief, emotionally charged meeting with his wife on Sunday from prison and he is said to have dedicated the award to the ‘lost souls’ of the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989. Liu is in the second year of a sentence for inciting subversion against the state, which is set to be 11-years long.
Simon Sharpe, secretary of political affairs for the EU delegation in Beijing was set to deliver a letter of congratulations to Liu’s wife, but when he got there he found the building guarded.
"We were told that
we could only go in if we called somebody from the inside and if they came out
to meet us. But of course, we can't call Liu Xia, because it's impossible to
get through to her phone," Sharpe said.