Monday, 20 November, 2017

Tsai urges China to give Liu Xiaobo freedom to make medical choice

Hospital: Ailing China Nobel laureate in critical condition Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo in critical condition, says hospital
Heather Davidson | 13 July, 2017, 00:29

Liu, 61, was granted medical parole and released from jail last month after he was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer.

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei says China's imprisonment of ailing Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo is "a shame for the Chinese government and a shame for the worldwide community".

He is experiencing septic shock and internal blood clotting, the hospital said.

Two Western doctors visited him and said on Sunday that they deemed him strong enough to be evacuated, apparently contradicting Chinese expert opinion.

Liu, a writer and activist, is the co-author of Charter '08, a document signed in 2008 by 300 intellectuals, calling for a free, democratic and constitutional state in China, which is a one-party state governed by the all-powerful Communist Party.

At the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo in 2010, he was represented by an empty chair.

"So long as Liu is still breathing and conscious, we should keep calling for him to be released and go overseas with Liu Xia, even if it is the last thing he does", Hu said.

But the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said one of Liu's relatives had told them Liu was conscious and in a better condition after receiving dialysis.

United States 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.

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Some of Liu's friends said they were contacted by police on Tuesday. "This is a political charade", the Global Times reported in an editorial on Tuesday.

The First Hospital of China Medical University, in the northeastern city of Shenyang, said Liu's family declined to have him put on artificial ventilation, which was necessary "to maintain life".

"The economy is strong, the military is rising — does China still care about worldwide political opinion?" said Zhang Lifan, a liberal political commentator in Beijing.

It added that Liu had a history of hepatitis B before imprisonment and prison authorities had provided him with an annual physical examination as well as monthly checkups, and no abnormal conditions had been found before the recent diagnosis.

News searches for Liu's name on Baidu, China's largest internet search engine, have turned up no hits since February.

Mo Zhixu, a family friend, told Efe that as far as he knew, Liu and his entourage continued to seek to leave China.

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".

Surveillance video from Saturday leaked to English-language Chinese state media showed two foreign doctors at Liu's bedside telling his wife, Liu Xia, that the medical team assembled by China's government was doing its "utmost" for her husband.

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