Saturday, 22 July, 2017

Jailed Chinese Nobel laureate's condition life threatening, says hospital

Hospital: Ailing China Nobel laureate in critical condition Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo in critical condition, says hospital
Garry Little | 13 July, 2017, 00:33

According to the hospital, Liu is suffering from "infectious shock" and "spontaneous peritonitis" as fluids and inflammation build up in his abdomen.

A spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geng Shuang, on Monday (July 10) denounced calls for Mr Liu to be freed to go overseas as "meddling" by foreigners, even though the two foreign doctors, who were invited by the government to examine Mr Liu said that he could travel and that their hospitals would treat him.

The United Nations human rights office demanded today that the UN be given access to Liu.

Liu, China's most prominent political prisoner, is being treated for late-stage liver cancer.

Mr Liu was arrested in 2008 after co-writing Charter 08, a bold petition that called for the protection of basic human rights and reform of China's one-party Communist system.

"We are aware of reports that the medical condition of jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate and writer Liu Xiaobo is rapidly deteriorating", U.S. embassy spokeswoman Mary Beth Polley said.

USA and German cancer experts visited Liu last weekend and determined that he was strong enough to be medically evacuated, but the hospital has issued pessimistic medical updates since then.

Hu Jia, a Beijing-based activist, said supporters should still fight to help Liu leave: "Even if he must die on the plane that has come to pick him up, then he would have still left his cage". He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a year later while in prison.

Some of Liu's friends said they were contacted by police on Tuesday.

Liu Xia European Press
Liu Xia European Press

Meanwhile, the state-run Global Times tabloid issued another scathing editorial on Wednesday, describing Western appeals to have Liu transferred overseas for treatment as "hypocritical".

As China's government faces mounting worldwide pressure to grant Liu his wish to leave the country for treatment, information control is a familiar strategy.

However, a family member said Liu's condition had improved on Wednesday morning.

The doctors added that both their institutions have agreed and are prepared to accept Liu for cancer treatment.

If China were to release him, Jared Genser, a lawyer representing Liu internationally, said he was ready to evacuate him. "From learning of the approval for the Lius to travel, we could have the medevac there in 48 hours".

Amid the medical updates, a video was leaked earlier this week showing the Western doctors praising their Chinese counterparts as they stood by Liu's bedside.

The German Embassy in Beijing expressed "deep concern" that the recording was leaked to Chinese state media outlets against the wishes of the German side.

The German embassy lashed out at what it called a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, saying Monday it seems that "security organs are steering the process, not medical experts".

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