Taiwan Leader Calls Liu Xiaobo A Rights Warrior

Security guards stand at the gates of an apartment complex where Liu Xia the wife of Chinese dissident and Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo had been living under house arrest in Beijing Friday
Taiwan Leader Calls Liu Xiaobo A Rights Warrior
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15 July, 2017

China onhit out at the worldwide community for its support of late democracy activist and Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died onin the northeastern province of Liaoning, as activists continued their calls for his wife Liu Xia to be allowed to leave China.

The 61-year-old Mr Liu was a prominent participant in the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests of 1989, and continued to call for political reform with his 2008 charter before being arrested.

Paintings of empty chairs referenced the empty seat at Liu Xiaobo's 2010 ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize, which the Chinese government refused to release him to receive.

Liu Xiaobo is survived by a son, and his wife of 21 years, Liu Xia, a staunch supporter of her husband who is reported to have said that she was determined to marry the "enemy of the state".

The bureau of justice of Shenyang, the city in northeastern China where Liu was being treated for cancer, announced on its website that Liu had died.

U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson had also called on the Chinese government to "release Liu Xia from house arrest and allow her to depart China, according to her wishes".

He urged China to lift restrictions on Liu Xia's movements and communications and added, "She and her brother, Liu Hui, should immediately be allowed to leave for Germany or another country of their choice if they wish to".

"The reaction to his illness shows how much he was respected", said Cui Weiping, a former professor of literature in Beijing who knew Liu and now lives in Los Angeles.

A plainclothes Chinese security guard attempts to stop a photographer from taking photos of an apartment building where Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese dissident and Nobel Prize victor Liu Xiaobo, has been living under house arrest in Beijing on July 14, 2017.

The Global Times said in Friday's editorial that Liu lived a "tragic life" because he sought to confront Chinese mainstream society with outside support.

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"It is nonsense for (China), on the one hand, to commit itself to global rights protections in the exercise of its sovereignty and then, on the other, to say that holding it to such commitments is a violation of its sovereignty".

People place flowers and light candles in front a picture of late Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo outside the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday. He married poet and photographer, Liu Xia in 1996 while in the labor camp where he was held prisoner.

Liu's wife remains under house arrest.

"In the fight for freedom, equality, and constitutional rule in China, Liu Xiaobo embodied the human spirit that the Nobel Prize awards".

Liu was a visiting scholar at Columbia University when, in April 1989, thousands of students began demonstrating in Tiananmen Square to demand democratic reforms.

Mr Liu died "peacefully" on Thursday afternoon, surrounded by his wife and other relatives, his main doctor Teng Yue'e said. We must not forget the "foot soldiers" in the Chinese repressive apparatus who were accomplices: Jia Lianchun, the president of Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, his assessors Zheng Wenwei and Zhai Changxi, and the prosecutors Zhang Rongge and Pan Xueqing, who were all happy to convict Liu Xiaobo in a trial lasting just two hours.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, defended the country on Friday from criticism over Liu's treatment.

The circumstances of Liu's death drew commiseration from around the world. He also lashed out at the decision to award the dissident a Nobel prize in 2010, the year after he was sentenced.

In May 2017, Liu was diagnosed with liver cancer. The president had been holding a news conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron when a reporter asked him what he thought personally of Xi Jinping, the Chinese president.


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