First foreign doctor sees ailing Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo
German cancer specialist granted access to Nobel Peace Prize winner suffering from late-stage liver cancer
A German doctor visited Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo on Friday, the first foreigner to see the dissident suffering from late-stage liver cancer.
The German cancer specialist was “currently on site” at the hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning province, where Liu was being treated, a German foreign ministry source said.
The China Medical University’s First Hospital in Shenyang invited US and German cancer specialists to China to consult on Liu’s case.
The US embassy in Beijing called on China to grant these doctors unhindered access to Liu, whose condition is deteriorating rapidly.
“We continue to call [on] the Chinese authorities to grant Mr Liu full parole, and to release his wife Liu Xia from house arrest, and provide them with the protections and freedoms such as freedom of movement, and access to appropriate medical care that are consistent with China’s constitution, legal system and international commitments,” the embassy said in a statement.
The German foreign ministry source did not give details of the result of the German doctor’s examination, or say whether US doctors had seen Liu.
Liu, the 2010 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was sentenced to 11 years behind bars in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power”. He had signed a petition known as “Charter 08” with other rights activists calling for sweeping political reforms in the country.
He was granted medical parole last month after he was diagnosed with the cancer in May. Liu Xia has been with him but friends said they could not visit or communicate with the couple.
Family friend Ye Du said a hospital insider told him that Liu was in a critical condition in the afternoon and all members of an emergency medical crew were ordered on standby in case his condition worsened.
Activist and friend Hu Jia said he believed that foreigners had finally been granted access to the dissident because the authorities wanted to dispel speculation that Liu’s condition was not severe.
Family and friends have been keeping vigil since Thursday when doctors warned that the patient’s health had declined and he could no longer cope with his cancer medication.
In a statement posted online on Friday, the hospital said abdominal fluid had been drained from Liu twice this week alone.
“Today, the patient’s appetite is quite poor. Abdominal fluid was drained as result of a build-up,” the hospital said.