Empty Chair for Liu at Nobel Ceremony: Activist

With Liu Xiaobo and his immediate family unable to attend the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo in December due to government restrictions on their movement, organizers may leave an empty chair to symbolize his presence, AFP reports:

Yang Jianli, a prominent Chinese democracy activist who is coordinating between the Nobel committee and dissidents, said all sides would keep pressing China to free wife Liu Xia from house arrest and let her travel to Oslo.

But if not, the Nobel committee is prepared to make the unprecedented gesture of setting a single empty chair on the stage during the December 10 ceremony, Yang said.

“An empty seat for the laureate would serve as a reminder to the world that Liu Xiaobo is himself languishing in prison and, more broadly, that the human rights situation in China should be a concern to the international community,” Yang told AFP.

Exiled AIDS activist Wan Yanhai and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may also attend the event, according to reports.

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