China's jailed Nobel Peace laureate granted medical parole

Kristopher Drake
June 27, 2017

China's jailed Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo was granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last month, his lawyer told AFP on Monday.

"We are shocked and devastated to learn that our dear friend and mentor Liu Xiaobo, China's jailed Nobel Peace Prize victor, has been suffering from cancer in China's brutal prison environment", said a statement by Wuer Kaixi and Wang Dan, former student leaders from 1989 and his friends.

"He has no special plans".

Liu, 61, is in the late stages of the disease, said Mo Shaoping, his lawyer, who has been in contact with Liu's family. She has been in detention for seven years, although she has never been formally charged with a crime.

"Two years ago, the Norwegian Nobel committee made a decision which is a serious violation of China's internal affairs and its judicial sovereignty", Hong Lei, then the foreign ministry spokesperson, had said.

Shortly after Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, his wife and fellow poet, Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest as a part of the Chinese government's crackdown on dissent.

The next year Mr Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The recognition from the committee infuriated the Chinese government.

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. "Finally, we want to remind that Liu Xiaobo has a standing invitation to come to Oslo to receive our praise".

"I firmly believe that China's political progress will not stop, and I, filled with optimism, look forward to the advent of a future free China", he said in a statement released after the trial.

Guangdong-based author Ye Du said his thoughts are with Liu Xia: "Liu Xia has had to pay such a high price, with only three years left until Liu Xiaobo was going to be released anyway", Ye said.

Patrick Poon, China researcher at rights group Amnesty International, urged authorities to ensure Liu has access to his family.

According to the Nobel website, Liu has constantly denied the charges. A professor of comparative literature at Beijing Normal University, Liu protested alongside his students.

Liu was rearrested and served three years in a labour camp from 1996-1999 for seeking the release of those jailed in the Tiananmen protests and for opposing the official verdict that their actions amounted to a counter-revolutionary rebellion.

Former Czech president Václav Havel and Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu had supported Liu for his "unflinching and peaceful advocacy for reform" over 20 years. PEN Hong Kong called for his unconditional release.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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