China under pressure to free ailing Nobel laureate
Shenyang, China has experienced sustained international pressure on Thursday for Nobel laureate to fight cancer Liu Xiaobo requires overseas treatment as official updates hospitals suggest that the democracy advocate is close to death.
The United States and Germany have expressed concern over the 61-year-old writer after the hospital he attended yesterday said he had organic insufficiency and difficulty breathing.
Doctors said Liu would be artificial ventilation to stay alive, but the family refused, according to the First Hospital of the Chinese Medicine University in Shenyang City, northeast of the country.
Human rights groups have denounced the lack of independent reports on Liu’s health, accusing authorities of manipulating information from the hospital’s heavily guarded website was the only source of medical changes.
Authorities do not say where Liu is treated, but at least five police officers monitored the hospital’s oncology floor on Thursday tracking access to the unit. Several others were also seen inside and outside the building.
Liu, who was sentenced to 11 years in jail for “subversion” in 2009, entered the hospital earlier this month after being transferred from prison because of the late stage of liver cancer.
His wife, the poetess Liu Xia, has been at his side, but his ability to communicate with the outside world is restricted. Authorities have been under house arrest since 2010.
“We are still concerned that Mr. Liu and his family are unable to communicate with the outside world and that he is not free to seek medical treatment of his choice,” White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.
German government spokeswoman Steffen Seibert said that Berlin “is prepared to receive and medically” deal.
The latest health updates “raises the question of whether M. Liu’s cancer would have been diagnosed and treated earlier,” said Seibert.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen also called on Beijing to release Liu and reiterated his offer to have treated Liu on the autonomous island that China considers a distant province.
The Chinese government has rejected international requests to leave Liu treatment abroad, saying that it receives the best possible high-level care from domestic doctors and that other countries should not “be interested in China’s internal affairs.”
A German doctor and an American doctor Liu visited last week and said he was still strong enough to satisfy his desire to travel abroad, but the hospital has issued increasingly pessimistic reports every day since.
Liu could become the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody from the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who died in a hospital under the Nazis in 1938.