March 21, 2018

Tsai urges China to give Liu Xiaobo freedom to make medical choice

13 July 2017, 01:31 | Kara Nash

Hospital: Ailing China Nobel laureate in critical condition

Liu Xiaobo can travel abroad for cancer treatment

Liu had an abdominal infection, organ dysfunction and he went into septic shock, the hospital said on its website. Yet others said Liu may simply be beyond rescue.

Liu was granted medical parole in May after he was diagnosed with late-stage kidney cancer.

Liu, a writer and activist, is the co-author of Charter '08, a document signed in 2008 by 300 intellectuals, calling for a free, democratic and constitutional state in China, which is a one-party state governed by the all-powerful Communist Party.

Liu could become 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.

Asked about Germany's statement, the foreign ministry on Tuesday said it did not know anything about the issues raised, reiterating its position that countries should not interfere in China's internal affairs.

The hospital said doctors informed Liu's family of the need for a tracheostomy to keep him alive, but they declined.

The First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that Liu's organs are failing him, leaving him in critical condition with doctors forced to resuscitate him. On Monday, dozens of people waved banners and chanted slogans as they staged a sit-in protest outside the Chinese government's representative office, urging Beijing to allow Liu to be treated overseas. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in absentia for his work campaigning for human rights in China.

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"The economy is strong, the military is rising — does China still care about global political opinion?" said Zhang Lifan, a liberal political commentator in Beijing.

The hospital treating Liu says it is providing the best possible care and that he is too ill to be moved.

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

If China were to release him, Jared Genser, a lawyer representing Liu internationally, said he was ready to evacuate him.

Surveillance video from Saturday leaked to English-language Chinese state media showed two foreign doctors at Liu's bedside telling his wife, Liu Xia, that the medical team assembled by China's government was doing its "utmost" for her husband.

"We do not know how reliable these accounts are, or if they mean Liu Xiaobo can not travel", a friend of Liu's family told Reuters, declining to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The German embassy in Beijing later said in a statement the recordings were made against the expressed wishes of the German side.

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