Demonstrators Protest as Nobel Peace Prize Awarded
OSLO, Norway (AP) _ Two physicians - one American, the other Soviet - who helped found a doctors’ antiwar group received this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday as human rights demonstrators protested in the icy streets outside.
American cardiologist Bernard Lown and Yevgeny Chazov, a Soviet deputy health minister and a fellow heart specialist, accepted the award as co- founders of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
The group claims more than 135,000 members in 41 countries.
The demonstrators were protesting against Chazov’s presence because he participated in a 1973 political attack on Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, who in 1975 won the Nobel Peace Prize himself.
Chazov became the second Soviet citizen, after Sakharov, to receive the award.
″We are not indifferent to other human rights and hard-won civil liberties,″ Lown told an audience of more than 600 dignitaries, including Norwegian King Olav V, inside Oslo University hall.
″But first we must be able to bequeath to our children the most fundamental of all rights, which preconditions all others, the right to survive,″ the Harvard University professor said.
Lown and Chazov were called together to the gilded rostrum to receive the gold medal and diploma, which carries a $225,000 award which will go to their organization.
″Our aspirations are pure,″ said Chazov, the target of many protests, after noting that the five years of the antiwar group’s existence ″were not all roses.″
Reading his speech in English, Chazov did not touch on the issue of human rights.
Outside the hall, one of the protest banners said: ″Chazov, use your power - free Sakharov.″ ″Find better friends, Dr. Lown,″ read another demonstrator’s sign.
In London, the British government criticized Chazov’s sharing in the prize. Foreign Office Minister Baroness Young told the House of Lords Tuesday the award called into question the prize committee’s impartiality. She said the doctors’ group had given uncritical support to Soviet propaganda and that Chazov ″has special responsibility for the health of Soviet leaders and to that extent probably has working links with the KGB (Soviet secret police).″
The Oslo ceremony was the first event in Scandinavia’s annual Dec. 10 round of Nobel Prize presentations.
In a gala white-tie ceremony in Stockholm in neighboring Sweden later Tuesday, five Americans, a West German and a Frenchman received Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, economics, physics and literature.
Nobel winners are usually chosen in October and the awards are presented on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death in 1896 of Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, who established all but the economics prize.
The Oslo demonstrations passed without incident. They drew Soviet dissidents and hundreds of Sakharov supporters.
Tuesday night, a traditional procession of more than 1,000 torch-bearing well-wishers paraded past the Grand Hotel, shouting greetings to Chazov and Lown, who smiled and waved from a second-floor balcony in 9-degree weather.
The two doctors read had separate acceptance speeches after being summoned to receive the prize by Egil Aarvik, 73, a retired journalist and former government minister who now heads the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
The ambassadors of the United States, West Germany and Britain normally attend but were out of Norway Tuesday. Their absence was viewed as demonstrating unhappiness with the selection.
″We were the first to demolish the nuclear illusions that existed and to unveil the true face of nuclear weapons,″ said Chazov. ″We warned the peoples and governments that medicine would be helpless to offer even minimal relief to the hundreds of millions of victims in nuclear war.″
Both recipients attacked ″the expansion of the arms race into space″ and called for a ban on nuclear tests.
Chazov attended the late Soviet leaders Leonid I. Brezhnev, Yuri V. Andropov and Konstantin U. Chernenko. Lown, born in Lithuania, teaches at Harvard University School of Public Health.
This year’s prize in medicine went to Americans Michael S. Brown, 44, and Joseph L. Goldstein, 45, for research into how the body handles cholesterol.
Americans Jerome Karle, 67, and Herbert H. Hauptman, 68, received the chemistry prize for developing methods of determining crystal structures.
West German Klaus von Klitzing, 42, won the physics prize for a discovery related to how electrical conductivity behaves under varying magnetic influences.
Naturalized American economist Franco Modigliani, born in Italy 67 years ago, received the economics prize, established in 1968 by Sweden’s central bank.
French author Claude Simn, 72, received the Nobel Prize in literature.