China faces backlash after Liu's death

15 July, 2017, 00:43 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • World reacts with praise, sadness to Liu death

In 2010, while he was in prison, the Nobel committee awarded Liu the peace prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China" - a move that infuriated Beijing.

Liu, who died aged 61, was transferred from prison to First Hospital of China Medical University in the northeastern city of Shenyang after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in late May.

The family of China's Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo was by his side when he died on Thursday after his condition abruptly deteriorated days earlier, his doctors said.

China has responded to worldwide criticism by lodging diplomatic protests with countries that have spoken out in support Liu Xiaobo, including the United States, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who through their offices expressed condolences to Liu's family on Thursday, were "irresponsible" and "a clear interference with China's judicial sovereignty". He was the first Nobel Peace laureate to die in state custody since Carl von Ossietzky, the German pacifist and foe of Nazism who won the prize in 1935 and died under guard in 1938 after years of maltreatment. The leader of the Norwegian Nobel committee Berit Reiss-Andersen said the Chinese government bore a "heavy responsibility" for Liu's death."The Chinese Government bears a heavy responsibility for his premature death", she said in an emailed statement.

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"I can no longer get in touch with Liu Xia", Shang said.

Liu Xiaobo died after his battle with liver cancer on July 13.

The ailing health of China's most prominent political dissident has become the subject of worldwide attention, with supporters and several foreign governments calling for him to be released to go overseas for treatment.

Geng said China has lodged formal protests with the United States, Germany and the United Nations, among others.

Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times said in an English editorial that Mr Liu was "a victim led astray" by the West. Switzerland was among western countries offering Liu the possibility to receive medical treatment.

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"The hospital where Liu Xiaobo received medical treatment has done its best to save his life", his main doctor Liu Yunpeng was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

A drawing of Liu and his wife. His compatriots still based in China, though unable to speak so freely, found creative ways to mourn Liu on the social media platform Wechat. We must not forget the "foot soldiers" in the Chinese repressive apparatus who were accomplices: Jia Lianchun, the president of Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, his assessors Zheng Wenwei and Zhai Changxi, and the prosecutors Zhang Rongge and Pan Xueqing, who were all happy to convict Liu Xiaobo in a trial lasting just two hours.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on China to free Liu's widow, the poet Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest since 2010 but was allowed to be with him at the hospital.

Liu's actions were widely credited with saving thousands of lives. He was serving an 11-year prison sentence for trying to overthrow the government.

"Governments should send a clear message to Beijing that the principles to which Liu Xiaobo devoted his life will thrive after his tragic death", she said.

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"In 'No Enemies, No Hared, ' he once said 'I firmly believe that China's political progress will never stop, and I'm full of optimistic expectations of freedom coming to China in the future, because no force can block the human desire for freedom".

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