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Peace Prize Winner In Chinese Jail

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Liu Xiao Bo is the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. (Image: Wikimedia Commons).

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Liu Xiao Bo

Each year, the person who has done the most to help world peace is given what is perhaps the globe’s highest honour: The Nobel Peace Prize. Last year’s winner was U.S. President Barack Obama.

The winner receives not only the respect and admiration of people around the world, but also a cash prize of over $1-million.

Last week, the winner for 2010 was announced. His name is Liu Xiao Bo and he was chosen because of his long history of non-violent protests for peace.

Unfortunately, Liu Xiao Bo may not even know he has won one of the world’s most important awards. That’s because he is in a prison in China.

Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence for speaking out against the Chinese government. As the prize was being read out, Liu was likely sitting in the prison cell he shares with five other prisoners, reading a book.

The Chinese government blocked the news of the award on the Internet from the country’s 1.3 billion citizens. In China, anyone who searched for “nobel peace prize,” for instance, would get an error message saying the page could not be found. Any television station that mentioned his name or the prize was blacked out in China.

What did Liu do to deserve such treatment? He wrote documents saying that China should become a democracy and respect human rights. In some countries, such as China, speaking out against the government in this way can force you to be imprisoned or even tortured.

Shortly after the announcement, Liu’s wife visited him in prison. She said she was going to tell him that he’d won the prize, but that has not been confirmed: right after her visit she was put under “house arrest” — meaning she cannot leave her home — and her telephone has been cut off.

Related Links
Here are some official facts about the Nobel Peace Prize.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Liu Xiao Bo has peacefully fought to spread democracy throughout China for a long time. Democracy is the belief that each person should be able to vote, and that there should be fair courts of law and basic human rights. What is a right? What rights do you think people should have? What should someone do if they are not being given those rights?

Reading Prompt
How does hearing a similar article read aloud help you when you read a new article independently?

How does knowing specific words or phrases from speaking or listening help you as a reader?

How do discussions with the teachers or classmates in conferences help you as a reader?

What do you know about writing that helps you as a reader?

Primary
Explain, initially with some support and direction, how their skills in listening, speaking, writing, viewing, and representing help them make sense of what they read (OME, Reading: 4.2).

Junior
Explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how their skills in listening, speaking, writing, viewing, and representing help them make sense of what they read (e.g., using a particular form when writing enhances understanding when reading texts of a similar form) (OME, Reading: 4.2).

Grammar Feature: Comma
In this article several sentences begin with introductory material that is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma. Read each sentence first with the introductory material and then without. Highlight the sentences that still make sense without the introductory material but now have less detail.

“Each year, the person who has done the most to help world peace is given what is perhaps the globe’s highest honour: The Nobel Peace Prize.”

“Last week, the winner for 2010 was announced.”

“Shortly after the announcement, Liu’s wife visited him in prison.”