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Terminally ill Chinese Nobel laureate released from prison

It is not clear if Liu Xiaobo's wife can visit him in hospital as she is under house arrest

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong

Published: June 27, 2017 08:35 AM GMT

Updated: June 27, 2017 08:43 AM GMT

Terminally ill Chinese Nobel laureate released from prison

This file handout picture released by the family of Liu Xiaobo taken on March 14, 2005 shows 2010 Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (left) and his brother Liu Xiaoxuan in Guangzhou in southern China. Liu Xiaobo was granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last month. (Photo from AFP)

Suffering late-stage terminal cancer, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has been released from prison and is now in a hospital in northeastern China.

Detained since 2008 for inciting subversion of state power, Liu was released on medical parole on June 26, said Shang Baojun, one of his lawyers.

Shang said that Liu has terminal liver cancer and was being given treatment at the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, Liaoning province.

The lawyer said Liu was diagnosed in May and that his family members can visit the hospital. It is unsure if this includes his wife, Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest in Beijing since 2010. Due to her isolation, Liu Xia is said to be suffering serious depression.

A video clip uploaded by Chinese writer Ye Du on June 26 showed Liu Xia crying and saying that her husband "cannot undergo surgery, cannot undergo electrotherapy, cannot undergo chemotherapy."

The move by the government to release Liu at such a late stage of his sickness has incensed many of his supporters.

"My feeling is complicated. If Liu is in his final stage of life as reports say, it is good to have family members around him," Kit Chan, executive director of the Hong Kong-based China Human Right Lawyers Concern Group, told ucanews.com.

"But what is the sense of the regime to torture a person and only release him in a very weak condition? It just wants to show its 'generosity.' But Liu should not have even been in jail in the first place," she said.


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Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong Diocese together with several human rights groups condemn the Chinese government's treatment of Liu Xiaobo outside the central government's Liaison Office on June 27. (Photo supplied)


Chan said that the Chinese government has treated dissidents harsher since Liu was arrested in 2008 for co-authoring the Charter 08 manifesto, a movement which calls for a democratic China and an improvement in the human rights situation in the country.

"The government targeted the organizers of that [democratic] movement in the past, but now having commemorations at home or in a private space during any sensitive time is not allowed by the authorities. This makes us very worried," Chan said.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission joined other human rights groups protesting the inhumane treatment of both Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia in front of the central government's Liaison Office in Hong Kong on June 27.

Liu, 61, was sentenced to jail for 11 years for inciting subversion of state power on Dec. 25, 2009 for his leading role in the Charter 08 manifesto. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

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