Sunday, 24 June, 2018

China's jailed Nobel Peace laureate granted medical parole

China's jailed Nobel Peace laureate granted medical parole China's jailed Nobel Peace laureate granted medical parole
Ellis Copeland | 28 June, 2017, 04:52

Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident imprisoned since 2009, has been released from confinement on medical parole, but his supporters are pressing for him to be allowed to seek treatment overseas for liver cancer.

Liu, 61, was sentenced to 11 years in jail on December, 2009 by a court in Beijing for engaging in activities created to overthrow the government.

"According to his lawyer, Liu was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer while in prison last month", NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Hong Kong.

No comment is likely to come from Liu's wife, Liu Xia, who remains under house arrest in Beijing, or from the Chinese government itself.

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".

FILE - In this December 5, 2010 file photo, a police officer stands guard beside a picture of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo outside the Chinese government liaison office in Hong Kong.

"We call on the Chinese authorities to not only release Mr Liu but also to allow his wife Ms Liu Xia out of house arrest", U.S. embassy spokeswoman Mary Beth Polley said.

In 2008, police arrested Liu and his wife for attempting to collect signatures for Charter 08, a manifesto signed by prominent Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists that demanded democratic reforms. The clip has been shared in circles of supporters and verified by the couple's friends, who said she was at the hospital. What are the terms of his medical parole?

China on Tuesday rejected criticism over its treatment of cancer-stricken Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo after the United States urged Beijing to give the paroled activist freedom to move and choose his own doctors.

Other activists said Liu's medical parole was not a humanitarian gesture, but rather a cynical attempt by authorities to avoid a backlash for allowing such a well-known rights defender to die behind bars.

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Hu, the dissident, said that for now, it's imperative that the government make public the names of the eight oncologists in charge of Liu's cancer treatment in Shenyang and that Liu is brought as soon as possible to Beijing, which has the country's best medical professionals and is his home.

Ye said in his Twitter post that Liu's cancer was spreading.

"[He] is being treated at a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang".

"If they didn't fear this, then they would not have sentenced him to 11 years for writing an essay".

At Liu Xia's apartment building in Beijing, AP journalists were accosted Monday by half a dozen plainclothes and other security officers and physically blocked from going beyond the first floor.

Liu had previously been jailed for two years in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the subsequent massacre.

At the Nobel Prize ceremony in Oslo that year, Liu was represented by a chair onstage that sat empty.

"I can't find the name if you don't have the [patient's] number", the employee said.

Liu Xiaobo also became the third person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize while in captivity, after Carl von Ossietzky of Germany in 1935, and Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) in 1991, and the second after Ossietzky to be denied the right to send a representative to receive the Nobel Prize on his behalf.

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