Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

China releases Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo with terminal cancer: lawyer

Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo released from Chinese prison after cancer diagnosis Liu Xiaobo, Jailed Chinese Nobel Laureate, Is Moved From Prison for Cancer Treatment
Kelley Robertson | 27 June, 2017, 07:53

Chinese authorities have released Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo under medical parole after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in May, his lawyer said in a statement on Monday.

Liu, 61, is in the late stages of the disease, said Mo Shaoping, his lawyer, who has been in contact with Liu's family. In April, Beijing finally normalized relations with Oslo after a six-year hiatus.

"The Chinese authorities must provide Liu Xiaobo open access to his counsel and to the worldwide community so that his wishes at this hard time can be ascertained and honored", he said in a statement. In 2010, Liu was represented by an empty chair during the award ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize, which made him China's most famous political prisoner.

In 1996, Liu was sentenced to three years of "reeducation-through-labor" as a result of further human rights activities. It is not immediately clear if Mr Liu was being allowed to have visitors.

The organisation called for Chinese authorities to immediately lift restrictions on Xiaobo's wife Liu Xia, who is under house arrest, and let the couple reunite as soon as possible. She suffered a heart attack in 2014, when she was diagnosed with depression after years of detention, a rights group said at the time. Liu had previously been jailed for two years in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the subsequent massacre.

"The No. 1 Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University (in Shenyang) has formed a medical team comprised of eight nationally renowned oncologists and drawn up a treatment plan", it said.

Liu Xiaobo, China's Nobel peace laureate, is to be allowed out of his communist gulag to die.

But a spokesperson for the foreign ministry in Beijing said they were unaware of the details of Liu's case when asked about him at a regular news briefing on Monday.

The worldwide community has been calling for his release for years.

He was also banned from publishing in China but many of his writings advocating greater democracy and respect for human rights appeared in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese publications.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called on the authorities to ensure Liu's family can visit him.

FILE PHOTO: Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is seen in this undated photo released by his families. PEN Hong Kong called for his unconditional release.

Liu has been held since 2008 after helping to draft Charter 08, a manifesto calling for sweeping changes in China's government that was signed by thousands of supporters.

Hearing that #LiuXiaobo has been freed but is seriously ill-glad if he is out, but he never should have been in.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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