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Chinese authorities silence friends of Liu Xiaobo in extensive roundup

China has gone to extraordinarily lengths to stop any of political prisoner Liu Xiaobo's friends or family from attending Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo.

A girl accepted a certificate of the first Confucius Peace Prize for the awardee former Taiwanese vice president Lien Chan in Beijing on Thursday. A Chinese group awarded its own version of a peace prize Thursday, a move apparently intended to counter the Nobel committee's decision to honor imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Alexander F. Yuan/AP

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Teng Biao, a bespectacled moon-faced lawyer who has made a name for himself by supporting political dissidents, walked out of the Thursday morning class he teaches at Beijing’s University of Politics and Law, and straight into the arms of the police.

He was going for a ride, they told him, to a small town outside the capital.

That is all anyone knows about Mr. Teng’s current fate, all he was able to put in a Twitter feed as he was taken away. Callers to his mobile phone later got a message that it was out of service.

Teng is one of hundreds of Chinese citizens who in recent days have been taken away to unknown destinations, or put under house arrest, or put under close surveillance, or stopped from leaving the country, or forbidden to speak to journalists or otherwise had their freedom curtailed.

19 Countries take China's side on Nobel Prize

With the approach of Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo honoring this year’s laureate Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese political prisoner, the Chinese government has gone to extraordinarily lengths to stop any of his friends or family from attending the ceremony.

“The scale and diligence of the security forces” in rounding up or silencing Mr. Liu’s supporters in China “is unprecedented” says Nicholas Bequelin, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.

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