Liu Xiaobo Demonstration calling for the release of Chinese dissident and Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. Photo: Pedesbiz on Wikimedia. Some rights reserved
The BBC has confirmed that its news sites have been blocked to users in China ahead of the presentation of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in Norway today.

This year's prize was awarded to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who is currently serving an 11-year sentence in China charged with inciting subversion of state power.

In a statement given to Journalism.co.uk, the BBC was able to confirm that all BBC sites, including its news pages, are currently blocked to users in China.

"We are not alone. It is the same for many other sites belonging to international news organisations.

"We are disappointed that our audiences in China are denied access to our impartial and editorially independent journalism."

The block on the BBC's sites, which began yesterday, remains in place at the time of writing, preventing access to BBC.com/news, its English language international news site, and BBCChinaUK.com, its English language learning site.

The BBC claims that access to its Chinese language website has been blocked in China since its inception around 12 years ago and its radio broadcasts in Mandarin and Cantonese have also been subject to "interference".

According to this AFP report the news websites for CNN and Norwegian state broadcaster NRK were also blocked in China yesterday.

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