The Norwegian Nobel Committee awards its always-anticipated Peace Prize Friday with experts predicting the winner will be a jailed Chinese dissident.

Some European oddsmakers say the 2008 prize will go to Chinese lawyer and human rights activist Gao Zhisheng.

Gao is reported to be in police custody somewhere in China.

Chinese environmentalist, civil rights, and AIDS activist Hu Jia, who is also in prison, is another favorite to win the prize.

The Nobel Committee must choose from 197 nominees.

Thursday, the Nobel Prize for Literature went to French author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio.

The Swedish academy that awards the prize described Le Clezio as "an author of poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy."

He had his first big success with the book Desertin 1980. He has also written essays and children's books.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy congratulated the writer, saying that Le Clezio, embodies the grandeur of France, its culture, and its values in a globalized world.

Le Clezio described winning the Nobel as an affirmation of the value of writing, in a world in which young writers are having trouble getting published, especially outside of their native countries.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.