Added by David Sandercock on November 20, 2010
The Nobel Institute said on Thursday that six countries have declined their invitation to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to be held in Oslo in December.
Geir Lundestad, Nobel Institute director, said that 36 ambassadors had accepted the invitation to attend Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo’s prize ceremony; 16 had not replied and six had said no. China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Morocco and Iraq all declined their invitation.
China has been very critical of the decision to award the prestigious prize to Liu, who is currently serving an 11 year sentence for subversion for co-authoring a manifesto that called for political reform in the country.
The Embassy of China in Oslo reportedly sent out letters to other diplomats in the city requesting that they do not attend the ceremony. However, most countries, including the U.S., Britain, France and Germany have confirmed that they will be attending.
Lundestad said it is unlikely that the prize medal, diploma and SEK 10 million (EUR 1 million, US1.36 million) award will be handed out, with Liu currently in prison, his wife under house arrest and his brothers not being able to leave China.
It would be the first time in the 109-year history of the Nobel Peace Prize that neither a laureate nor a representative will be able to attend the ceremony to receive the award.