Human rights advocates slam PH for boycotting awarding of Nobel to imprisoned Chinese dissident

The group Human Rights Watch slammed the Philippines for boycotting the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to an imprisoned Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo. According to the AP report, the group said the Philippines’ decision not to attend the ceremony in Norway means the country is aligning with China, which has "vilified Liu and urged other countries not to attend."

Human Rights Watch Asia Deputy Director Elaine Pearson said in a statement reported by GMANews.tv, "The Philippines prides itself on its democratic values, which is why it is shocking to see this government turning its back on Liu Xiaobo’s nonviolent struggle for free expression in China."

Presidential Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said today, "From what I understand, our ambassador to Norway is going to be attending another function (so he won’t be able to go to the Nobel awarding). Attending that is optional so I don’t think that should be a big issue."

In an earlier report, Foreign Affairs spokesman Eduardo Malaya declined to divulge the reason for not sending a representative to the awarding ceremony on December 10.

The 19 countries that will not attend the ceremony are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba, Morocco and the Philippines. GMANews.tv reports that 44 countries will send representatives.

For more on this story, log on to Yahoo News and GMANews.tv.

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