My suggestion for the Nobel Peace Prize 2012: Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese writer and human rights activist.
Yes, I know that Liu Xiaobo already won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 and I know it would be the first time that one person wins the same prize twice. But this is a special situation which calls for a special reaction: The Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 2010 is still in prison in China. If the Nobel Prizes are supposed to achieve anything beyond some newspaper articles for a week after their announcement, then the Nobel Prize committee should display the determination to continue awarding the prize to the last laureate who is still imprisoned and thereby to name and shame China. They should do so year after year after year – until China will have to release Liu Xiaobo.
The outrageousness of China’s treatment of Liu Xiaobo becomes even more apparent when we consider this question: When was the last time that a Nobel Peace Prize laureate was kept in prison by his home country? It was in 1935. The laureate was Carl von Ossietzky. The country was Nazi Germany. (Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest in Burma when she was awarded the Prize in 1991.)