China’s ailing Nobel laureate remains critical

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Beijing, July 12 (IANS) Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo remained in intensive care on Wednesday, according to the hospital treating him, after he suffered multiple organ failure a day before.

Liu has terminal liver cancer and the condition of his liver has deteriorated further, while bilirubin levels continued to increase, the Shenyang Health Centre was quoted as saying by Efe news.

On Tuesday, the doctors treating the activist said he had been suffering from a stomach infection, peritonitis, organ dysfunction and septic shock, a critical condition that can be fatal.

The latest medical tests were held amid widespread criticism from the international community which was pressuring Beijing to release the Nobel laureate and his wife, Liu Xia, so that they could seek medical treatment abroad.

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Both Liu and his wife were under strict surveillance in the hospital along with a small group of family members.

The Global Times, which is affiliated to the ruling Communist Party, had dismissed the requests from the US and Germany and from human rights organisations to allow Liu to seek medical assistance abroad, claiming that “Western forces” were politicising the issue for ulterior motives.

“What they care about is not Liu’s treatment, but transferring him abroad. This is a political charade,” the Global Times reported in an editorial on Tuesday.

A group of volunteers comprising Liu’s friends and activists from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan began a petition on, to call for the release of the renowned dissident which has reached over 34,000 signatures in just 10 days, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

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Liu was hospitalised at the beginning of June after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer following almost nine years in prison.

In 2009, Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion, after he helped pen a political manifesto urging the Communist regime to initiate democratic reforms.



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