“The Chinese authorities should immediately ensure that Liu Xiaobo receives adequate medical care, effective access to his family and that he and all others imprisoned exclusively for exercising their human rights are immediately and unconditionally released”. FILE – In this December 6, 2012 file photo, Liu Xia, wife of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo, poses with a photo of her and her husband during an interview at her home in Beijing.
Liu, China’s best-known political prisoner, known for his advocacy for human rights and democracy, was convicted in 2009 of engaging in activities created to overthrow the government.
Liu Xiaobo’s lawyer, Shang Baojun, reported on June 26, 2017, that Liu was recently transferred from a prison in China’s northeast Liaoning province to a hospital in the provincial capital, Shenyang, where he is being treated for advanced liver cancer.
“It’s very hard to understand why his illness is only being treated at the last stage”, said Poon.
The Nobel Committee said it was “delighted” to learn that Liu was finally freed, but that it “strongly regrets that it took serious illness before Chinese authorities were willing to release him from jail”.
The US embassy in Beijing on Tuesday called on China to release the couple and allow Liu to choose his own doctors.
“The authorities must also stop their shameful and illegal house arrest of Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia”, Poon said, “and ensure that she is able to receive visitors, travel freely and visit Liu Xiaobo”.
A brief video has also emerged of Liu’s wife tearfully telling a friend that no treatment – surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy – would work for Liu at this point.
The aid group calls for the government to ensure Liu has proper medical care, access to his family – and that he and other rights activists are released.
In his first five years in power, Xi has pursued an intense crackdown on dissent. China and Norway normalized ties in December past year.
“I wish this was fake news. Liu Xiaobo is the pride of the Chinese people”, said Bao Tong, a former senior aide to Zhao Ziyang, the Communist Party leader who was ousted during the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square. “It’s a great pity that we didn’t know about this in the early or intermediate stages”, he said. Liu joined the protests and initiated a hunger strike with three other activists. He negotiated a peaceful retreat from the square and is credited with saving many lives. His prison term is expected to be completed by 2020.
In 2008, he helped write a petition calling for widespread political liberalization in China.
Liu is more than halfway through the 11-year sentence he received in 2009 for what the government called “incitement to subvert state power”.
In December 2010, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his activism promoting human rights in China, causing Beijing to freeze diplomatic ties with Norway.