Germany asks China to let ailing dissident leave

Marie Harrington
July 13, 2017

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.

China's Nobel Peace Prize winning dissident Liu Xiaobo is receiving emergency treatment for a second day on Tuesday, the hospital treating him said, as questions remain about whether he is well enough to travel overseas.

Liu, who has advanced liver cancer, is suffering from respiratory and renal failure as well as septic shock, the First Hospital of China Medical University said on its website.

Liu was arrested in 2008 after cowriting Charter 08, a bold petition that called for the protection of basic human rights and reform of China's one-party Communist system.

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

Mr Liu and his family, who are being closely guarded in the hospital, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The government allowed two foreign doctors, from the United States and Germany, to visit Liu on Saturday and they later said they considered it was safe for him to be moved overseas, but any move should be done as quickly as possible.

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Human Rights Watch's China director Sophie Richardson called the leak "grotesque propaganda".

The US government expressed concern Wednesday about the status of China's Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and urged Beijing to release the cancer-stricken democracy activist and his wife so he can receive appropriate medical care. He was sentenced to 11 years' jail on subversion charges but was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

"We remain concerned that both Mr. Liu and his family are unable to communicate with the outside world and that he is not free to seek the medical treatment of his choosing", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, reading from a prepared statement on the Nobel laureate during a briefing on Wednesday.

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".

China has previously told diplomats that Liu can not travel because he is too ill to be moved.

But even they say it is unlikely that China will let Liu go, which would seem like backtracking.

After the doctors' Sunday statement, China released short videos of their visit, apparently taken without their knowledge, in which the German doctor appeared to praise the care Liu had received.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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