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China's Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Released From Prison


On Monday, the Liaoning Prison Administrative Bureau announced that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has lived behind bars since 2009, had been granted medical parole with Chinese officials apparently reluctant to have one of the country's foremost human rights activists die while still locked up in prison.

"According to his lawyer, Liu was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer while in prison last month", NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Hong Kong.

"He has no special plans.

The Chinese authorities must provide Liu Xiaobo open access to his counsel and to the global community so that his wishes at this hard time can be ascertained and honored", he said in a statement.

After the Nobel committee, appointed by the Norwegian parliament, awarded Liu the peace prize, which he never collected, China froze diplomatic relations with Norway.

Liu Xiaobo also became the third person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize while in captivity, after Carl von Ossietzky of Germany in 1935, and Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) in 1991, and the second after Ossietzky to be denied the right to send a representative to receive the Nobel Prize on his behalf.

He also called for the Nobel Committee and the worldwide community to speak up "forcefully" for Liu now.

In 1996, Liu was sentenced to three years of "reeducation-through-labor" as a result of further human rights activities.

"We strongly urge the Chinese government to immediately give Liu Xiaobo comprehensive medical care, to allow an outside medical team to visit and help him, and we also firmly demand immediate restore of Liu Xiaobo's normal contact with the outside world".

Amnesty International's China Researcher, William Nee, said authorities should ensure Liu was receiving adequate medical care and he called for the immediate and unconditional release of Liu and his wife. She suffered a heart attack in 2014, when she was diagnosed with depression after years of detention, a rights group said at the time.

Mo said Liu requested to be treated outside of prison, and that the request was approved. During the June Fourth Incident, Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square and opened fire on protesting civilians, which killed hundreds to thousands of people.

The news of Liu's diagnosis shocked and saddened fellow human rights activists who have admired the sacrifices Liu and his wife have made in the hope of achieving peaceful political change.

"The Chinese government should have released Liu Xiaobo without any conditions", veteran political journalist Gao Yu tweeted on Monday.

Liu was a leading member of the Independent China PEN Centre, a grouping of Chinese writers.

Some of these served as evidence in his most recent trial.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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