Europa-parlamentet gjorde hva Nobelkomiteen vurderte, men ikke gjorde: Det tildelte Sakharov-prisen til kinesiske Hu Jia. Kinesiske myndigheter la et sterkt press på EU-parlamentet om ikke å foreta valget av Hu Jia, men et slikt press er kontraproduktivt.
Hu Jia har arbeidet for HIV-sykes rettigheter og avslørt undertrykkelsen i Tibet. Han ble dømt til 3,5 års fengsel for «undergraving». Det han undergravde var Kinas anseelse i verden, men det er myndighetenes eget ansvar. Ved å kalle Hu Jia for «kriminell» synker anseelsen enda mer.
EU-parlamentets president sa at Bejings press virket mot sin hensikt.
But parliament president Hans-Gert Poettering told the assembly to widespread applause that «by awarding the Sakharov Prize to Hu Jia, the European Parliament is sending out a clear signal of support to all those who defend human rights in China.»
China angrily called Hu a ‘criminal’ when he was considered a top candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize earlier in October.
He said Hu had «spoken out against oppression in Tibet», and described him as «one of the real defenders of human rights in the People’s Republic of China».
Hu, 36, is known for his campaign for civil rights, environmental protection and AIDS victims but is serving a three-and-a-half year prison sentence for subversion.
He was arrested last year after giving testimony on human rights in China to the European Parliaments’s human rights subcommittee by phone.
China angrily called Hu a «criminal» when he was considered a top candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month.
The Sakharov Prize, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, is in its 20th year. Previous winners will be invited to attend the presentation of the 50,000 euro ($64,000) prize on Dec. 17.