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Nineteen countries refuse to attend ceremony for Chinese Nobel Peace laureate

Pro-democracy protesters holding banners bearing photos of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo march to the Chinese government liaison office in Hong Kong on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. Protesters rallied in Hong Kong for the release of the jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner. (Kin Cheung/AP)

According to an article today in the Toronto Star, at least nineteen countries have declined their invitation to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in Norway this Friday. While most are countries you might assume would side with China, whose government has threatened that there will be “consequences” for countries that attend, I was honestly surprised by a couple on the list, such as the Philippines.

Here is the full list of those countries that have already declined: China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Serbia, Vietnam, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine and Morocco.

This is possibly the highest number of countries to not attend a ceremony for the Nobel Prize in its history.