Polish FM pays tribute to China's Liu Xiaobo

Polish FM pays tribute to China's Liu Xiaobo

He died from late-stage liver cancer at Shenyang Hospital, Liaoning province, where he had been receiving medical treatment since June of this year.

Liu Xia has been under house arrest since 2010 and only reunited with her husband last month when he was released on medical parole.

Western governments criticized Beijing for not allowing him to seek treatment for his cancer overseas and called on China to loosen its restrictions on dissent. Chinese authorities, meanwhile, were rejecting all criticism on Friday of their treatment of Liu before his death, claiming once again it was an internal matter that should not be criticized by other countries.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU president Donald Tusk said in a joint statement that they had learned of Liu's death "with deep sadness". He was then jailed on 25th December 2009 and sentenced to 11 years in prison for "subversion".

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, said Friday that Japan is paying close attention to the human rights situation in China following the death of Liu Xiaobo.

His death also brought criticism for Chinese authorities who refused worldwide pleas to let him receive treatment overseas.

Though Trump has frequently criticized China for its trade policies and economic relationship with North Korea, he has shied away from commenting on human rights abuses in the country.

"As long as he had a body, they had to contain the impact of what he embodied", said David Kelly, a longtime friend of Liu and China watcher. "These ideas can not be imprisoned and will never die".

"It's a blasphemy of the peace prize", Geng said, referring to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Liu in 2010.

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Around the world, Liu will be remembered as a moral giant: "The Mandela of our age", in the words of Nicholas Kristof; a "compatriot for writers all over the world who struggle against tyranny", as PEN America put it. A viral essay on Mr. Liu's death titled "A Night That Can't Be Discussed" was quickly deleted.

"That's why the Committee I chaired awarded Liu Xiaobo the Peace Price", he added. "We are here, with Xiaobo". But China considered such requests to be interference in its own affairs and considered Liu a criminal.

Liu's USA lawyer, Jared Genser, who had arranged a medical evacuation for the laureate that was never used, had kinder words for the American efforts.

The commissioner called on Chinese authorities to allow Liu's wife, Liu Xia, the right to travel.

Yang denounced the way Liu was "slowly murdered by the regime in front of the world", and said the worldwide community must hold Beijing accountable. "Liu Xiaobo was a man of fierce intellect, principle, wit and above all humanity". Ai Weiwei, the Chinese dissident artist now living in Berlin, told the BBC yesterday: "It still comes as a big shock. because he has been such a symbol for China's human rights or democratic movement". The Party had labelled him a "black hand"-a hidden mastermind of disorder-but, as I wrote of Liu, in a book on China, he embraced the term as a "medal of honor". "The Chinese Government bears a heavy responsibility for his premature death", she said in an emailed statement.

Bruce Lui, senior journalism lecturer at Hong Kong's Baptist University, said there is widespread concern over Liu Xia's fate in the worldwide community. "RIP", German Justice Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter.

Global tributes poured in as Germany, which had offered to treat him, called him a "hero" of democracy.

The document drew widespread support and the Chinese government being threatened by its mere existence removed it from the internet and arrested Xiaobo hours before it was to be released.

China signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1998 but took care never to ratify it. Harassment and acts of violence against civil rights activists and citizen-journalists have increased since 2013, when Xi Jinping took over as president.