Milestones in China's pro-democracy movement

Liu Xiaobo had been a thorn in Beijing’s side since 1989 when he helped negotiate a deal to allow protesters to leave Tiananmen Square before troops and tanks rolled

Human rights advocates, pro-democracy activists and government leaders around the globe expressed sorrow over the death of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and urged the Chinese government to let his wife do something he wasn't allowed to: leave the country.

Liu suffered multiple organ failure, the Shenyang Bureau of Justice said late Thursday on its website.

Albert Ho, who heads the Hong Kong Alliance organizing protests in Liu's support, said China's efforts to erase Liu from people's memory will fail.

He and his wife Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest for almost seven years, had repeatedly appealed to Beijing to allow him to seek treatment overseas in his final days.

Yu says Liu was especially good at debunking Chinese intellectuals who claimed to be liberals.

In 2010, Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his struggle to seek political reforms in China. (I last spoke to him shortly before his arrest in 2008; State Security cut the phone connection after I identified myself.) China under Xi is less free than China was 20 years ago.

"Human rights are a priority of French diplomacy all over the world and, because of that, this issue is part of our dialogue with China", Le Drian added.

The Norwegian Nobel committee cited his "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China" in its citation for the award. His wife, Liu Xia has been under house arrest since then.

He was found guilty on December 25, 2009 of "engaging in agitation activities, such as the spreading of rumors and defaming of the government, aimed at subversion of the state and overthrowing the socialist system" and handed an 11-year jail term, which he served mostly in Liaoning, far from his Beijing-based friends and family.


The Nobel Peace Prize - awarded to Liu in absentia in 2010 - made him China's most prominent political prisoner, infuriated Beijing and fueled an worldwide outcry for his release.

"Liu Xiaobo and his family have requested that the remainder of his care be provided in Germany or the United States", Joseph M Herman of the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center and Markus Büchler of the University of Heidelberg said in a joint statement.

"Liu Xiaobo was not a criminal", Ai told Reuters in his Berlin studio.

Liu, China's most famous political dissident, died during medical parole while serving a prison sentence for trying to overthrow the government.

In Charter 08, Liu described freedom as a basic universal value.

In a document written on the day of his trial titled "I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement", Liu said, "I hope that I will be the last victim of China's endless literary inquisitions and that from now on, no one will be incriminated because of speech".

"No one was as active as he was, and no one had so much social interaction with the young people", Yu said.

He was the second person to receive the award while in prison - the other was the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who won in 1935 while incarcerated in a Nazi concentration camp.

Liu's supporters who have managed to arrive in the city were either being watched or warned against taking any action.

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