Liu Xiaobo

Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo dies at 61

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 July, 2017, 9:28pm
UPDATED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 2:36am

Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo died in a northern Chinese hospital of multiple organ failure on Thursday, Shenyang justice authorities announced in a statement.

Liu, 61, was granted medical parole last month after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in late May following a “routine check-up”, according to the Shenyang Justice Bureau.

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But news of his illness did not become public until the end of June.

He was being treated in Shenyang, Liaoning province, at the First Hospital of China Medical University. He was also the only living recipient of the prize to still be in custody.

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Close friends said they were barred from visiting Liu during his treatment, and he and his family were kept in isolation, watched around the clock by state security agents.

Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, as well as friends and members of the international community appealed repeatedly and unsuccessfully to the Chinese government to allow the dissident to go overseas for medical treatment.

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Liu, China’s most famous political prisoner, was sentenced to 11 years behind bars in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power”. He served eight years in jail before his cancer diagnosis.

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He co-authored a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms in China.

He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize while in jail and was represented by an empty chair at the ceremony in Oslo.