Sydney's Chinese community remembers Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

by Antonio Miles July 15, 2017, 0:29
Sydney's Chinese community remembers Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

China accused Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen of aggravating tension across the Taiwan Strait on Friday, citing her comments following the death of Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo as an example of "repeated arbitrary attacks".

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

On July 13, Liu Xiaobo, China's most outspoken dissident, died of liver cancer after receiving medical parole from a jail sentence awarded in 2008. She was later placed under house arrest and kept away from her family and any other external contact, with no explanation by the authorities.

"The hospital where Liu Xiaobo received medical treatment has done its best to save his life", his main doctor Liu Yunpeng was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

A prominent Chinese dissident has died of advanced liver cancer despite worldwide efforts to save him.

Liu Yanzi, a Chinese writer in Osaka who translated Liu's poems and essays into Japanese, said she was devastated. He served three prison sentences in the 1990s, totalling nearly five years.

The overseas-based Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network called on the global community to turn the focus of their campaign to Liu Xia.

"It is outrageous that the Chinese authorities waited until Liu Xiaobo's cancer was in the terminal stage before treating him in hospital", RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

During his last hours, Liu was accompanied by his wife, Liu Xia, and several relatives who were very grateful for the hard work of the doctors and nurses, said the doctor.

China said at the time that Liu's award was an "obscenity" that should not have gone to a man it called a criminal and a subversive. But China considered such requests to be interference in its own affairs and considered Liu a criminal. He died on the 13th July 2017 in the company of his wife, Liu Xia, who is now under house arrest.

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Already seriously ill, Liu, a thorn in the ruling Communist Party's side since he helped negotiate a deal to allow protesters to leave Tiananmen Square before troops and tanks rolled in, was moved last month from prison to a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang.

Beijing rejected worldwide criticism for not allowing its most prominent critic to be treated overseas for liver cancer and claimed that the case is an internal affair and other countries were "in no position to make improper remarks".

The Swiss foreign ministry has called on the Chinese government to allow Liu's wife, Xia, full burial rights and to guarantee her freedom of movement.

Liu Xia has been living under house arrest in Beijing ever since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Jared Genser, a USA lawyer who represented Liu, said all contact with Liu Xia had been cut off in the past 48 hours. "Despite the imprisonment and separation from the wife he adored that could have (fueled) anger and bitterness, Liu Xiaobo declared that he had no hatred for those who pursued and prosecuted him".

China's Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo died Thursday after a battle with cancer, remaining in custody until the end as officials rebuffed global pleas to let the prominent dissident receive treatment overseas.

"The future for human rights in China gets ever bleaker under the leadership of President Xi Jinping", Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, said this year.

Answering a barrage of questions on Friday over the death of Liu, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China had lodged protests with certain countries for interfering in its judicial sovereignty.

The current leader of the Nobel committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, who wanted to attend Liu's funeral, was not allowed to apply for a visa to China, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said.

Mo Shaoping, Liu Xiaobo's lawyer, said there was no legal reason for China to prevent Liu Xia from leaving the country.

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