Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Liu Xiaobo, Chinese Activist and Political Prisoner, Dies

Liu Xiaobo, Chinese Activist and Political Prisoner, Dies

He was being treated for late-stage liver cancer. He died of multiple organ failure on Thursday morning, according to the Associated Press.

Liu, 61, was hospitalized in China in May for late-term liver cancer while serving his fourth prison sentence on charges of inciting subversion with his pro-democracy writings.

Many held signs reading "The people's hero, he'll always be remembered", "the murder of a dissident" and "free Liu Xia".

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 but wasn't allowed to travel to Oslo, Norway, to collect the award.

The pro-democracy advocate was jailed in 2009 for co-authoring a manifesto - Charter 08 - calling for sweeping political reforms in China.

Liu's wife, Liu Xia, who herself was under house detention as well as friends and members of the worldwide community appealed repeatedly and unsuccessfully to the Chinese government to allow the dissident to go overseas for medical treatment.

- 2010 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE - The honor is bestowed on Liu in recognition of his peaceful struggle for human rights and democracy, although, imprisoned, he is unable to attend.

Liu was a lecturer at Beijing State University and a prominent figure in student free speech protests in Beijing and other Chinese cities in 1989.

In this image take from video security guards and a medical staff member talk to a visitor as they stand guard at an entrance door of the oncology medicine ward inside the First Hospital of China Medical University where imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Pr
Family of Liu Xiaobo declines artificial ventilation: hospital

Liu served eight years in jail before he was diagnosed with cancer.

His death was reported in state media in China.

Yu Jie, a longtime friend and a biographer, said Liu frequently gathered a small group of friends for frequent dinners at his favorite local Sichuan hot-pot restaurant, where he regaled younger intellectuals on literature and philosophy before returning home to write until dawn, as was his habit. The New York Times mentioned the word "communist" four times and did say the Chinese government is communist. He says a visit Liu made one day to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY led to a sort of revelation.

"That's not a comparison that Beijing wants to see", said Bill Bishop, the author of a China-focused newsletter, Sinocism, in an interview.

The Chinese intellectual and activist is the first Nobel peace prize victor to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, the 1935 recipient, who died under surveillance after years confined to Nazi concentration camps.

Liu was only the second Nobel Peace Prize victor to die in prison, a fact pointed to by human rights groups as an indication of the Chinese Communist Party's increasingly hard line against its critics.

Global human rights groups, Western governments and local activists had urged authorities to free Liu and grant his final wish to be treated overseas. A furious Beijing subsequently placed his wife under house arrest. Apart from human right groups, Western democracies, including United States and Germany had called upon China to shift Xiaobo overseas for medication.

"We appeal to the Chinese authorities to allow his wife, Ms Liu Xia and his family to bury Liu Xiaobo at a place and in a manner of their choosing, and to allow them to grieve in peace", Juncker and Tusk said. "Time and again they tried to silence him, and time and again they failed", Shetty said.

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