Veteran journalist Li Pu, a Communist Party member who dared to criticise the government and spoke out for dissidents, died yesterday, his family said. He was 92. Li's daughter, Li Yuxiao, said he died peacefully in a Beijing hospital at 1.40pm. He was admitted in mid-October and diagnosed with pneumonia. He was also suffering from colon cancer. Li Pu, a former deputy director of Xinhua, became renowned for his courage in urging the government to embrace democracy and freedom during his latter years. He was a signatory of Charter 08 - a manifesto that calls for sweeping democratic reforms, the rule of law and basic rights that was co-drafted by dissident Liu Xiaobo . Li Pu openly supported Liu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last month. After Liu was sentenced to 11 years in jail on subversion charges last year, the veteran journalist was one of four elderly party members who called for his release. 'We sympathise with Liu Xiaobo,' Li Pu told the South China Morning Post at the time. 'The government obviously wants to suppress him and stop him from expressing his opinion.' Attracted by the democratic ideals championed by the Communist Party in its early days, Li Pu became an underground party member as a 20-year-old in 1938. Like many patriotic young people at the time, he was appalled by the corrupt ruling Kuomintang amid the anti-Japanese wars, and joined the then underground communist newspaper Xinhua Daily as a reporter. As a relatively junior reporter, he stood behind top leaders and dignitaries at the Tiananmen gate as Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Li Pu and his first wife, Shen Rong, who died in 2004, joined the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests in 1989, even though they were already in their 70s. 'I think he lived a brilliant life. He was always striving to be a truthful person,' his daughter said. 'He said every country needs freedom - that was his conviction and his dream.'