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Nobel-winning Chinese dissident given medical parole

29 June 2017

China released the Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last month, Liu's lawyers told AFP on Monday.

China has criticised calls for Liu's release as "irresponsible" and interference in its internal affairs.

In 2010, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment to non-violent protest and human rights, much to Beijing's displeasure.

He has no special plans.

Sophie Richardson, China director of Human Rights Watch, suggested the Nobel Prize Committee head to Shenyang immediately.

At the time, the USA government called on China to release the political activist, first arrested two decades earlier for his part in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

His wife Liu Xia has been under house arrest since her husband won the award in 2010 but has never been charged. He was the first Nobel Peace Prize recipient to not attend the ceremony or be represented by family since the 1935 prize, when Hitler barred the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who was being held in a concentration camp, and his supporters from accepting the award. Mr.

"It seems to be very serious, very serious", said Shang Baojun, Liu's lawyer, according to the New York Times. Relations were only normalised last December.

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He was known for having negotiated the safe exit of thousands of student protesters on June 3, when the military launched a deadly crackdown to quell the movement.

It is unclear if Liu Xia, who reportedly suffers from depression due to her isolation, knows that her husband has terminal cancer or if she will be permitted to see him while he's receiving treatment.

Hu, the dissident, said that for now, it's imperative that the government make public the names of the eight oncologists in charge of Liu's cancer treatment in Shenyang and that Liu is brought as soon as possible to Beijing, which has the country's best medical professionals and is his home.

The worldwide community has been calling for his release for years. An Associated Press journalist could not locate Liu in the sprawling facility, and nurses on likely floors for cancer patients said they had not had a patient by the name of Liu Xiaobo.

He was arrested in 2008 after he co-write Charter 08, which was a petition that called for the protection of basic human rights and the reform of China's one-party communist system.

"The Chinese authorities should immediately ensure that Liu Xiaobo receives adequate medical care, and that all he and all other imprisoned for exercising their human rights are immediately and unconditionally released", Amnesty International said in a statement following news of Liu s parole. Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said he was not aware of the latest development in Liu's case. She has remained confined to her apartment for nearly seven years, except for monthly visits to see her husband, despite never being charged with any crime.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Beijing said they were "working to gather more information" about Liu's legal and medical status.

Mr Liu had previously spent two years in prison for his role in supporting the students who demonstrated for democracy on Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Nobel-winning Chinese dissident given medical parole