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Nobel prize laureate Liu Xiaobo released from Chinese prison, after cancer diagnosis

29 June 2017

China's jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has been granted medical parole after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the liver, his lawyer has confirmed. "No country shall interfere with China's internal affairs through any individual case", Lu said. "Liu Xiaobo is the pride of the Chinese people", said Bao Tong, a former senior aide to Zhao Ziyang, the Communist Party leader who was ousted during the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square.

Xiaobo was the first Chinese citizen to win the Noble Peace Prize in 2010 for his long and peaceful campaign for human rights in the country.

He has no special plans.

"The crackdown on human rights defenders and activists has been getting more serious", said Patrick Poon, China researcher at Amnesty International.

Although Liu was banned from publishing in China, many of his writings advocating greater democracy and respect for human rights appeared in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese publications.

Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia, remained under house arrest in Beijing and could not be reached for comment.

Despite China's refusal to let Liu or a representative travel to accept the award, the Nobel ceremony organizers placed his citation and medal on an empty chair in a poignant event held in December 2010 in Oslo.

"I urge President Trump to seek Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo's immediate humanitarian transfer to the United States".

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Friends of the family, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity surrounding Liu, said he is now in intensive care at a hospital in Shenyang and permitted visits from family.

"The Chinese government should have released Liu Xiaobo without any conditions", veteran political journalist Gao Yu tweeted on Monday.

Activists are demanding to know whether Liu received any medical treatment while he was in jail and why he was not given parole earlier. It called for Chinese political liberalization, and brought Liu a 15-year prison sentence for "inciting subversion of state power".

While the global community has united in a chorus of condemnation in response to Monday's news, Beijing maintains that he is a criminal, convicted of subverting state power.

On Monday, Liu's lawyer told Sputnik that the dissident was still under control of the Chinese government, and that his medical parole was just another form of imprisonment. "He was, essentially, convicted for exercising his freedom of speech and should never have been sentenced to jail in the first place".

He was arrested in 1991 for Tiananmen-related activity but released without charges.

With her communication with the outside world nearly completely cut, friends say she has been suffering severe depression and nervous breakdowns, especially after the authorities sentenced her brother to 11 years in prison over what supporters call trumped-up charges of business fraud.

In December 2016, China's Foreign Ministry said that Norway had made "important and explicit statements on issues concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity", thus paving the way for the normalization of their relations.

Nobel prize laureate Liu Xiaobo released from Chinese prison, after cancer diagnosis