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Six Countries Decline Attendance Of Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad (file photo)
Six countries have declined to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the six countries were Russia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Morocco, Iraq, and China itself.

Committee Secretary Geir Lundestad said 16 more countries had not replied by the committee's extended deadline of this morning.

Lundestad said China had mounted an unprecedented campaign to sabotage participation in the awards ceremony.

Earlier, the committee said the award might not be handed out this year because no one from Liu's family was likely to attend the December 10 ceremony.

The prestigious award can only be collected by the laureate or close family members.

Lundestad said that the ceremony would go ahead, but that the Nobel Peace Prize medal, diploma, and award of $1.4 million would not be handed out.

compiled from agency reports