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Chinese Nobel Peace laureate freed on medical grounds

27 June 2017

Liu Xiaobo's lawyer, Shang Baojun, reported on June 26, 2017, that Liu was recently transferred from a prison in China's northeast Liaoning province to a hospital in the provincial capital, Shenyang, where he is being treated for advanced liver cancer.

The literature professor was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China".

While the Nobel Committee said it was "delighted" to learn that Liu was finally freed, it "strongly regrets that it took serious illness before Chinese authorities were willing to release him from jail".

"Adding injury to insult, Liu Xiaobo has been diagnosed with a grave illness in prison, where he should never have been put in the first place", said William Nee, China researcher for Amnesty International. Liu had previously been jailed for two years in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the subsequent massacre.

Mo said he believed Liu's wife, Liu Xia, had traveled to the city.

"It is unconscionable that the government neglected Dr. Liu's health, despite repeated calls from the global community to ensure proper care". "The government should immediately allow Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, to seek proper treatment wherever they wish".

"This type of late-stage cancer is very hard to treat, it would have been easier if it was discovered sooner", Shang Baojun, one of Liu's lawyers, told reporters.

Liu, 61, was charged with subversion and jailed in 2009 after he called for greater democracy and political freedom in China.

"The MAC has been concerned about mainland Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo's latest situation, hoping that he will get good medical attention so his family members can feel comfort", the MAC said.

The Nobel announcement sparked renewed calls for his release, led by fellow peace laureates and later by then-US President Barack Obama.

Pictures of Chinese dissidents, including Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (2nd-L), are seen on a banner during a rally for Liu December 10, 2010 in Washington, DC.

Last year, a group of 120 authors including Salman Rushdie had written an open letter to President Xi Jinping, urging the release of Liu and other jailed activists. In 2008, he helped compose a petition, called "Charter 08" and later signed by hundreds of scholars and activists.

"I'm shocked and deeply saddened", she told Reuters.

Liu is the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel peace prize and one of only three people to have won it while detained by their own government.

Chinese Nobel Peace laureate freed on medical grounds