Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo has died, the government of the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, where he was being treated for late-stage liver cancer, said on Thursday.
The Shenyang legal bureau said in a brief statement on its website that Liu had suffered multiple organ failure and efforts to save him had failed.
Liu, 61, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms.
He was recently moved from jail to a hospital in Shenyang.
Human rights groups had decried the lack of independent reports about Liu’s health, accusing the authorities of manipulating information as the hospital’s website has been the only source of medical updates.
U,S, officials wanted Chinese authorities to allow Liu and his family the freedom to choose his medical care.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said from Washington: “We remain concerned that both Mr Liu and his family are unable to communicate with the outside world and that he is not free to seek the medical treatment of his choosing.”
Liu was diagnosed with liver cancer in May while serving an 11-year sentence for inciting subversion after he helped to write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for basic human rights and sweeping political reforms.
He was convicted in 2009 of inciting subversion for calling for political reform and was awarded the Nobel Prize a year later while serving his sentence.
Sanders had urged China to grant him full parole and release his wife from house arrest.
While China’s censorship makes it difficult to assess Liu’s support, he is a “hero” for many liberals in China, even if few will speak out for him, a Chinese editor at an online publication said, declining to be named.
Photo Credit: Instagram @queeniezxz