China under pressure to free widow of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

  • China under pressure to free widow of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

China under pressure to free widow of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

Cruz said only one man, President Xi Jinping, was preventing Liu and his wife from coming to America to live out his remaining days, as was their wish. A photograph posted on July 5 on Twitter by the dissident writer Ye Du showed an emaciated Liu at the hospital with his wife, Yu Xia, a photographer and poet who had pleaded for better medical care for Liu.

The United States and European Union appealed Beijing to release Liu Xia, the widow of Xiaobo. A German and an American doctor visited him last weekend, and Berlin had urged Beijing to allow him to leave for treatment overseas - possibly in Germany. "Despite the imprisonment and separation from the wife he adored that could have (fueled) anger and bitterness, Liu Xiaobo declared that he had no hatred for those who pursued and prosecuted him".

"Governments would rather get along with the (Chinese Communist Party) than stand with its opponents", he said, noting that numerous largest donors to American political parties have substantial financial ties to China. Ai Weiwei, the Chinese dissident artist now living in Berlin, told the BBC yesterday: "It still comes as a big shock. because he has been such a symbol for China's human rights or democratic movement".

He was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2010 while imprisoned. The official Xinhua news agency, which had not mentioned his hospitalisation, reported his death in English. Liu died after a battle with cancer, remaining in custody until the end as officials rebuffed global pleas to let the prominent dissident receive treatment overseas.

Xiaobo was a vocal critic of Chinese communist political domination and served four terms in prison throughout the course of almost three decades.

Commentator Jan Arild Snoen accused Solberg of "choosing salmon sales (to China)" over Liu.

"Xiaobo was wedded both psychically and physically to China and its fate", Geremie Barme, an Australian Sinologist and a close friend of Liu's, wrote in a tribute before Liu's death. Tillerson's call has been echoed by other officials and activists around the globe - though not by US President Donald Trump - however, China has so far been reluctant to give in to global pressure.

He was diagnosed of "terminal liver cancer" in June 2017 and despite worldwide calls for him to be moved to Germany or the United States for treatment, the Chinese government refused him the opportunity claiming that he was "too ill to travel", according to the BBC. "The handling of Liu Xiaobo's case belongs to China's internal affairs, and foreign countries are in no position to make improper remarks", Geng said.

"This crime - the death and silencing of Liu Xiaobo - should follow the Chinese Communist Party like an unwashable permanent stain", Smith told the hearing, adding that governments and rights groups should work to preserve Liu's legacy. The Beijing government refused to let him seek treatment overseas despite Liu's wishes and worldwide pressure. Kristoffersen, who was a critic of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu, wrote in newspaper Aftenposten on Friday that Solberg couldn't express support for Liu or Liu's release since her government wants "a functioning bilateral relation" with China.

Steffen Seibert, spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said Germany would continue to push for a "humanitarian solution" for Liu Xia.

The hospital says Liu, China's most prominent political prisoner, has respiratory failure and his condition is now life threatening.

Hundreds have gathered in Hong Kong to pay their respects at a vigil for Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace laureate and political prisoner who died on Thursday aged 61. "It's a persecution, it's a violation of human rights", she said.

"Our immediate focus must be his widow", Cruz said, calling for her to be permitted to leave China to receive the $1.5 million monetary award for the Nobel Peace Prize from the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson hit out at China for preventing Liu from seeking cancer treatment overseas.

The call was endorsed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who urged China to "guarantee Liu Xia's freedom of movement".

Gabriel also urged China to look in a "credible and transparent way" into whether Liu Xiaobo's illness could and should have been detected earlier.