China dissident Liu's condition critical

13 July, 2017, 01:30 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Struck by liver cancer Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo dies

The Chinese hospital charged with treating Liu Xiaobo has announced that the ailing Nobel laureate's health is now failing, indicating that China's most famous jailed dissident may not have long left to live.

The family of China's cancer-stricken Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo declined to let doctors put him on artificial ventilation, his hospital said, raising the grim prospect that he could die in custody.

Liu, a former professor who helped negotiate with the military for the safe passage of students during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, was convicted in 2009 of inciting subversion for his role in the "Charter 08" movement calling for political reform and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

After Liu's diagnosis was made public in June, a jailhouse video montage quickly found its way onto YouTube that showed him playing badminton with a prison guard, chatting with his wife during a visit and sitting for a teeth cleaning - all meant to show a decent quality of life behind bars at Jinzhou Prison.

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U.S. and German cancer experts visited Liu last weekend and determined that he was strong enough to be medically evacuated, but the hospital has issued pessimistic medical updates since then.

Rights groups and Western government have urged China to allow Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, to leave the country to be treated overseas, as Liu has said he wants to.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated on Tuesday that China hopes other countries can "respect China's judicial sovereignty and not use such an individual case to interfere in China's domestic affairs". He became China's most famous political prisoner after he was represented by an empty chair during the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in 2010.

Doctors from the United States and Germany visited Mr. Liu on Saturday and said then that he could be moved, but his condition has apparently worsened.

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Beijing has rebuffed those calls, saying Liu is too sick to travel and is already receiving the best care possible.

Some of Liu's friends said they were contacted by police on Tuesday.

The German Embassy in Beijing complained on Monday that authorities recorded the meeting between the doctors and Liu without the consent of the German side and later leaked some carefully selected parts of it to the Chinese media.

Liu has suffered multiple organ failures, the hospital said, including kidney and liver failure, septic shock, as well as blood clots forming around his body.

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The German statement also said the country's security services were steering Liu's treatment rather than the doctors.

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