Årets Fredspris skulle gått til kinesiske dissidenter. Det ville vært en naturlig oppfølging av at Kina var vert for OL, sier kritikere. Valget av Marti Ahtisaari falt i dårlig jord. Det var tradisjonelt og uspennende. Ved å gi prisen til kinesiske dissidenter kunne Nobelkomiteen påvirket utviklingen, sies det.
«It is an opportunity missed to change the world for the better by encouraging reform in China,» said Edward McMillan-Scott, a British member of the European Parliament and founder of its group to promote democracy and human rights. He nominated two Chinese dissidents who had been considered front-runners for the prize.
Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and AIDS and environmental activist Hu Jia, who were nominated by McMillan-Scott, were seen as favorites along with Russia’s Lidia Yusupova, Vietnam’s Thich Quang Do or the group Human Rights Watch.
News that the two Chinese dissidents were being considered brought a harsh warning from Beijing, which declared Tuesday that Hu was not a legitimate contender.
«If the prize is awarded to such a person it would be against the purpose of such a prize,» Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.