Published: Thu, July 13, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Liu Xiaobo can travel overseas for cancer treatment

Liu Xiaobo can travel overseas for cancer treatment

Liu's kidney and liver functions are failing, and he suffers from blood clots, among other ailments, the hospital in the city of Shenyang said on its website. According to the hospital, Liu is suffering from "infectious shock" and "spontaneous peritonitis" as fluids and inflammation build up in his abdomen.

Human rights groups said it was almost impossible to obtain independent information about Mr. Liu's health given that he is in a heavily guarded hospital and his wife, who is with him and also not free.

Doctors have asked for permission to perform a procedure for assisted breathing on Liu, but their request was denied by his family, the statement added.

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei says China's imprisonment of ailing Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo is "a shame for the Chinese government and a shame for the worldwide community".

His most recent conviction, on Christmas Day 2009, stemmed from his co-authorship of Charter 08, a manifesto calling for political reform and human rights in China.

United States and German cancer experts visited Liu last weekend and determined that he was strong enough to be medically evacuated, but the hospital has issued pessimistic medical updates since then.

"Today's China is stronger and more confident, and will not yield to Western pressure", it said, accusing unidentified overseas forces of "squeezing Liu for their political goals". The activists said they would not leave until Liu is allowed to leave the country. He was sentenced to 11 years' jail on subversion charges but was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

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"The economy is strong, the military is rising — does China still care about global political opinion?" said Zhang Lifan, a liberal political commentator in Beijing.

"It is probably out of politics that some people and forces are requesting Liu to be treated overseas", the nationalistic Global Times tabloid, published by the People's Daily, said in an editorial Tuesday headlined "Liu's cancer treatment mustn't be politicized".

If China were to release him, Jared Genser, a lawyer representing Liu internationally, said he was ready to evacuate him.

After the doctors' Sunday statement, China released short videos of their visit, apparently taken without their knowledge, in which the German doctor appeared to praise the care Liu had received.

"The primary thing we need is approval of the Chinese government to let them go and the issuance of passports for them", Genser told The Associated Press.

The German Embassy in Beijing expressed "deep concern" that the recording was leaked to Chinese state media outlets against the wishes of the German side.

The German embassy in Beijing issued a statement Monday criticizing China, noting that "security organs are steering the process, not medical experts".

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