【 BBC 】   Post Date: 7/13/2017
Liu Xiaobo: China rejects foreign criticism over dissident's death

The Nobel Committee, which gave him the Peace Prize in 2010, said China bore a "heavy responsibility" for his death.Beijing is now being urged to free his wife, poet Liu Xia, from house arrest.Mr Liu died "peacefully" on Thursday afternoon, surrounded by his wife and other relatives, his main doctor Teng Yue'e said. His final words to Liu Xia were: "Live on well".

Liu Xiaobo: China rejects foreign criticism over dissident's death


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China has rejected international criticism for not allowing its most prominent critic, Liu Xiaobo, to be treated abroad for liver cancer.


It said the case was an internal affair and that other countries were "in no position to make improper remarks".


The activist, who had been serving an 11-year prison term for "subversion", died in a hospital in China aged 61.


The Nobel Committee, which gave him the Peace Prize in 2010, said China bore a "heavy responsibility" for his death.


Beijing is now being urged to free his wife, poet Liu Xia, from house arrest.


Mr Liu died "peacefully" on Thursday afternoon, surrounded by his wife and other relatives, his main doctor Teng Yue'e said. His final words to Liu Xia were: "Live on well".


In a brief statement, officials said that Mr Liu had suffered multiple organ failure.


International powers press China


Calling the death "premature", the Nobel Committee said the Chinese refusal to allow him to travel was "deeply disturbing".


Germany, one of the countries considered as an option for Mr Liu, regretted that his transfer did not take place, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.


"China now has the responsibility to quickly, transparently and plausibly answer the question of whether the cancer could not have been identified much earlier," he added in a statement.


British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also said it was "wrong" for China to have denied Liu Xiaobo permission to leave.


In the first official comment since his death, China's foreign ministry said: "The handling of Liu Xiaobo's case belongs to China's internal affairs, and foreign countries are in no position to make improper remarks," reported Xinhua state news agency on Friday.


Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang added that Chinese medical authorities had made all-out efforts to treat Mr Liu, Xinhua said.


The stern words are the latest development in the international controversy surrounding Mr Liu's case.


Chinese authorities announced last month that Mr Liu had liver cancer and moved him from prison to a hospital in the north-eastern city of Shenyang, where he was kept under heavy security.


In his final days, Western countries repeatedly urged China to give Mr Liu permission to seek palliative treatment elsewhere, which Beijing refused.


Chinese medical experts insisted he was too ill to travel, although Western doctors who examined him disagreed.


Germany, UK, France, and the United States are now calling on China to allow Liu Xia to travel and leave the country if she wished.


The call was endorsed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who urged China to "guarantee Liu Xia's freedom of movement".


Mainland coverage muted


In mainland China, international reports on his death have been censored, and local media have carried virtually no reports apart from sparse coverage in English, correspondents say.


Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times said in an English editorial that Mr Liu was "a victim led astray" by the West.


"The Chinese side has been focusing on Liu's treatment, but some Western forces are always attempting to steer the issue in a political direction, hyping the treatment as a 'human rights' issue," the newspaper added.


Online in China, many comments on his death on social media appear to have been censored.


Mr Liu's friends in China have been told by authorities not to organise any memorial events according to Germany-based activist Tienchi Martin-Liao, who told the BBC that "many have been detained already".


Outside of the mainland, Chinese activists have been openly mourning him.


A protester reacts after paying her respects outside the Chinese Liason Office of Hong Kong after the death of Chinese Noble laureate Liu Xiaobo, in Hong Kong on 13 July 2017Image copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES


Image caption


Supporters in Hong Kong gathered outside the Chinese Liaison Office to mourn Mr Liu's death on Thursday night


Who was he?


A university professor turned tireless rights campaigner, Mr Liu was branded a criminal by authorities, and repeatedly jailed throughout his life.


Liu Xiaobo played a significant role in saving lives in the Tiananmen Square student protests of June 1989, which ended in bloodshed when they were quashed by government troops.


The life of Liu Xiaobo


The 11-year jail term he was serving was handed down in 2009 after he compiled, with other intellectuals, the Charter 08 manifesto which called for multi-party democracy.


Mr Liu was found guilty of trying to overthrow the state.






Liu Xiaobo: Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winne


13 July 2017




When Liu Xiaobo was formally awarded his Nobel Peace prize in 2010, he was represented at the ceremony by an empty chair.


By then, the dissident academic was in prison again, this time serving an 11-year sentence for "inciting subversion of state power" for his role in drafting a democracy manifesto for China.


But his voice was heard at the ceremony, when an actor read aloud the statement he had written for the court that jailed him.


He looked forward, he wrote, to the day "where all political views will spread out under the sun for people to choose from, where every citizen can state political views without fear".


'Beloved lectern'


Liu Xiaobo, who was born on 28 December 1955 in Changchun, Jilin, was seen as a hero by many but a villain by his own government.


The Nobel committee described him as the "foremost symbol" of the struggle for human rights in China.


But to Chinese state media, he was a "prisoner who confronted authorities and was rejected by mainstream Chinese society".


He began life as an academic, studying literature and philosophy, and received his PhD from Beijing Normal University.


Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is seen in this undated photo released by his family on October 3, 2010.Image copyrightREUTERS


Image caption


Liu Xiaobo was the "foremost symbol" of China's human rights struggle, the Nobel committee said


When the Tiananmen pro-democracy movement began in 1989, he was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in the US.


He flew back in April of that year to take part in the protests that grew into the biggest challenge to China's one-party communist government since it came to power in 1949.


But the protests came to a bloody end on 4 June as authorities ordered in troops to quash the demonstrations.


Mr Liu and others were credited with saving the lives of a few hundred protesters when the activists successfully negotiated with troops to allow a peaceful exit.


Though he was offered asylum in Australia, he turned it down, choosing instead to stay in China. He was subsequently arrested and jailed for "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement".


As a consequence, he wrote, he lost his "beloved lectern" and could no longer publish essays or give talks in China.


After his release from prison in 1991, Mr Liu campaigned for those imprisoned for their roles in the Tiananmen movement, which saw him re-arrested and sentenced to three years in a labour camp.


'Disastrous process'


In 1996, while still in prison, he married Liu Xia, a poet and artist for whom he later described his love as "boundless".


Once his term was served, he continued with his activism even as authorities blocked him from working as a university lecturer and banned his books in China.


Chinese state censorship meant he was far better known in the West than in his home country.


Speaking to BBC Chinese in 2005, he described reforming China as a "long and tortuous process" founded in the efforts of the people.


"One can see that there are many failures and sadness during this process, and most struggle for human rights will result in failure; but it is a continuous awakening, which will not be contained by lies and repression," he said.


Then came the move that led to his longest - and final - prison sentence. In 2008, he and a group of intellectuals helped to draft a manifesto called Charter 08.


The document called for a series of reforms in China, including a new constitution and legislative democracy, and respect for human rights.


"A 'modernisation' bereft of these universal values and this basic political framework is a disastrous process that deprives humans of their rights, corrodes human nature and destroys human dignity," it said.


The charter appeared to be the last straw for the government. Two days before the manifesto was due to be published online, police raided Liu Xiaobo's home and took him away.


He was held in detention for a year before he was tried in court. Then, on Christmas Day in 2009, he was jailed for 11 years.


'Nothing criminal'


A year later, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The committee praised Liu Xiaobo for his "long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China".


China reacted angrily. Mr Liu was not allowed to attend the ceremony, and the world's media instead took pictures of his empty chair.


Liu Xia told Reuters that her husband wanted to dedicate his prize to all those who died in the Tiananmen crackdown. "He felt sad, quite upset. He cried. He felt it was hard to deal with," she said.


She was subsequently placed under house arrest, isolated from family and supporters. Her movements have remained restricted ever since, with no explanation from the Chinese authorities.


In June 2017, with three years left of his sentence, Chinese authorities said Mr Liu had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.


He died weeks later, at the age of 61. Pleas for him to leave China for medical care were rejected by Beijing, on the grounds that he was too ill to travel.


In his statement in 2009, Liu Xiaobo said he had "no enemies". He said he had felt respect from prosecutors who went on to imprison and silence him. Prison conditions, he said, had improved since his previous incarceration and management had become more humane. He noted in particular the kindness of one prison officer.


These changes, he said, made him hopeful about his country's future; that China would in the end become a free nation "ruled by law, where human rights reign supreme".


He said he did not regret having spoken out. "There is nothing criminal in anything I have done. If charges are brought against me because of this, I have no complaints."





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Key Words: Liu Xiaobo,Nobel Prize,Death
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