Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some kind of censorship? China get 19 countries to not attend the Nobel concert

The Norwegian Nobel committee earlier this year decided to give the Nobel prize of 2010 to Liu Xiabo. This act has so far led to strong pressure from China on Norway. Other countries have not escaped pressure either, of course, and now, the list of countries that will not be attending the Nobel concert has been made public.

This list notably includes Russia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Egypt and Ukraine. That Russia is on the list appears to show that Russia and China may have an agreement to abstain from attending whatever could be embarrassing to the other. The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has also confirmed today that Afghanistan and Serbia are withdrawing from the concert because of Chinese pressure.

Here is the full list:

* Afghanistan
* China
* Colombia
* Cuba
* Egypt
* Iran
* Iraq
* Kazakhstan
* Morocco
* Pakistan
* Philippines
* Russia
* Saudi Arabia
* Serbia
* Sudan
* Tunisia
* Ukraine
* Venezuela
* Vietnam

Two other countries, Algeria and Sri Lanka, both did not answer whether they were going to attend the concert. Neither would comment on Aftenposten's story today.

According to the BBC report on the issue, "10 embassies were absent from the 2008 ceremony for former Finnish President and UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari."

The Nobel concert is held later this week. I will post follow ups to this story if there are any.

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