Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate and human rights advocate Liu Xiaobo dies

Laura Christensen
July 15, 2017

BEIJING — As tributes rolled in Friday to mourn China's most famous political prisoner, a newspaper published by the ruling Communist Party dismissed late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo as a pawn of the West whose legacy will soon fade. Liu was convicted in December 2009 and received a surprisingly harsh 11-year prison term for "inciting subversion of state power".

Reiterating the Chinese government's line, Ma said Liu was sentenced due to violating the law and that "China made all-out efforts to treat him humanely in accordance with the law".

"I call on the Chinese government to release Liu Xia from house arrest and allow her to depart China, according to her wishes", Mr Tillerson said in a statement.

He died in custody on Thursday, aged 61, after being denied permission to leave the country for treatment for late-stage liver cancer. And his final months, after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May and granted medical parole, drew global calls for his release.

Japan's government says it will continue to pay close attention to human rights in China after the death of its most famous political prisoner.

"He loved her so much that he felt he owed it to her", said Liao Yiwu, a prominent Chinese writer who now lives in Germany and a longtime friend of the Lius.

Mo Shaoping, Liu Xiaobo's lawyer, said there was no legal reason for China to prevent Liu Xia from leaving the country. Nineteen measures were itemized with the aim of improving China's human rights situation. One popular motif was a picture of an empty chair, echoing the way the Nobel Prize committee honored Mr. Liu at the 2010 ceremony.

When the chants began to die down and soldiers started trying to clear the square, Liu and three friends - including Hou Dejian, a popular rock singer from Taiwan - erected a tent alongside the 10-storey Monument to the People's Heroes, and began a 72-hour hunger strike.

Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo is in a critical condition and his breathing is failing, the hospital treating him says.

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"They used Liu's illness as a tool to boost their image and demonize China", it said.

Wu'er is one of the best-known figures from the pro-democracy movement which took over the square in Beijing in 1989, prompting abloody crackdown in which several hundreds are believed to have died.

"Liu Xiaobo was the true embodiment of the democratic, non-violent ideals he so ardently advocated", Zeid said.

As censors sprung into action after Mr. Liu's death, internet users found creative means to convey their opinions.

Answering a barrage of questions on Friday over the death of Liu, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China had lodged protests with certain countries for interfering in its judicial sovereignty.

The United States had called on China's government to let the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and democracy activist seek medical care at a location of his choosing.

Supporters have also begun calling to be allowed to join Mr Liu's funeral and support his wife and family. Liu's death puts China in dubious company, as he became the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who passed away in a hospital while held by the Nazis in 1938. -China relationship, but instead chose to praise Chinese President Xi Jinping as a "great leader", a "very talented man" and a "very good man". But the least it could have done in the case of its internationally known rights activist was to allow him to travel overseas for treatment when it became known he was battling for his life with liver cancer.

"Hitler was wild and strong and thought he was right — but history proved he was wrong in imprisoning a Nobel Peace Prize victor", said Mo Shaoping, an old friend and Liu's former lawyer.

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