China's Most Famous Political Prisoner Liu Xiaobo Dies at 61

Outrage at video of ailing Chinese Nobel laureate

Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has died weeks after his release from prison following a cancer diagnosis, the Shenyang bureau of justice said.

Liu had been under critical condition since July 10 and suffered multiple organ failures, according to the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, including kidney and liver failure, septic shock, as well as blood clots forming around his body.

Mr Liu had spent time in prison in China before 2009, and was already the country's most famous government critic when he was sentenced for his part in Charter 08.

China, which has about 700 million people with access to the internet and the world's largest number of social media users, kept things silent - not a single word on Liu was allowed to slip through the censors.

Liu's wife, Liu Xia, is under house arrest and has not been allowed to speak openly about the health of her husband.

To many, Liu represented hope for a freer China with more room for dissent. "Western mainstream society is much less enthusiastic than before in interfering with China's sovereign affairs", it said.

Rights groups and Western governments had urged China to allow Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, to leave the country to be treated overseas, as Liu had said he wanted to.

U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said Liu was "the true embodiment of the democratic, non-violent ideals he so ardently advocated", adding that China has "lost a principled champion who devoted his life to defending and promoting human rights".




In 2010, Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his struggle to seek political reforms in China. China suspended a bilateral trade deal and restricted imports of Norwegian salmon, and relations only resumed in 2017.

Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjoern Jagland looks down at the Nobel certificate and medal on the empty chair where Nobel Peace Prize victor jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo would have sat during the ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2010. "We must do all we can to end Liu Xia's illegal house arrest and surveillance, and ensure that she is no longer persecuted by the authorities".

In an unprecedented move, the Chinese Foreign Ministry today removed questions related to Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo from the transcripts of its daily media briefings available on the official website.

A portrait of Liu Xiaobo is displayed at an exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo in 2010.

Liu, China's most famous political dissident, died during medical parole while serving a prison sentence for trying to overthrow the government.

When Reuters visited the floor where friends said Liu was being treated, visitors for other patients on the same ward seemed confused and asked why there were new procedures when security questioned them and checked their IDs. In a move that felt crass and disgusting, the Chinese authorities filmed the dying Liu without his consent to make propaganda films falsely depicting merciful treatment of him. "Secondly, he has been the biggest threat inside of China, and they want to get rid of him".

Carl von Ossietzky, a pacifist who died in 1938 in Nazi Germany's Berlin, was the last Nobel Peace Prize victor to live out his dying days under state surveillance.

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