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Nineteen Countries Turn Down Invitation to Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

WASHINGTON - The Nobel Committee has confirmed that nineteen countries have declined
invitations to attend the Peace Price ceremony in Norway on 10 December,
a rise on the usual number of declines.  This year, the Nobel Peace
Prize is being awarded to Chinese prisoner of conscience Liu Xiaobo.

19 countries that have declined to attend according to the Committee
are Afghanistan, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan,
Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sudan,
Tunisia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.

“China has been
arm-twisting behind the scenes to stop governments from attending the
Nobel Prize ceremony, using a combination of political pressure and
economic blackmail” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Director
for the Asia-Pacific.

“The fact that, despite the pressure and
threats, the Chinese could only cajole a small minority of countries,
reflects the unacceptable nature of their demands.  Governments and
international institutions must continue to resist this type of

“China has made some great economic advances, but the
world's governments should not be mesmerized by China's economic growth.
The Chinese people want to be part of the global discussion on human
rights and we should do everything possible to include them fully” said
Sam Zarifi.


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