China allows foreign doctors to treat ailing dissident

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Beijing, July 5 (IANS) China has invited medical experts from the US and Germany to help treat Nobel Peace Prize-winning Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo who has terminal liver cancer.

Authorities in the north-eastern Shenyang city, where Liu is being treated, said the decision was made at the request of his family, BBC reported on Wednesday.

Liu, 61, is one of the most prominent dissidents in China and was jailed for 11 years in 2009 on subversion charges for calling for greater democracy. He was a key leader in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

His wife Liu Xia has been under house arrest since then but not been charged. The dissident was diagnosed with cancer in May and was released on medical parole to be treated by tumour experts in Shenyang’s hospital.

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It is not yet known which foreign oncologists will travel to China to treat him or when they will arrive, Hu Jia, a human rights activist and friend of the family, told Efe news.

Since Liu was moved from prison, international human rights groups and several Western diplomats, including from both Germany and the US, called for the dissident to be allowed to leave the country for treatment.

The Nobel committee in Oslo has described Liu Xiaobo as “the foremost symbol” of the human rights struggle in China.

He was never allowed to collect his prize and was represented by an empty chair at the ceremony. The Chinese government was infuriated by the award and cut ties with Norway for several years.

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