Beijing, July 14 (IANS) The supervising physicians of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of liver cancer at a Chinese hospital while still under police custody, said on Friday that they did everything they could to save his life.
“Since the day Liu Xiaobo was admitted, the hospital has made every effort in his treatment,” said a senior doctor of the oncology department, First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang.
After having been granted medical parole, the 61-year-old activist and writer died on Thursday night in the hospital under heavy security measures, while his family’s request for seeking treatment abroad had been rejected.
According to the 61-year-old activist’s supervising physicians in China, he could not be transferred abroad because “the situation was very dangerous, he might be in need of receiving surgery at any time”, contradicting an opinion given by a foreign medical team who visited him last weekend.
Amid growing international pressure, the Chinese government last week allowed a team of German and American specialists to visit the dying Liu.
The foreign medical team agreed that the treatment he was receiving from Chinese physicians was adequate, but argued that Liu could be safely transported abroad for cancer treatment.
However, the Chinese government ignored the request, while the health of the Chinese activist rapidly worsened, leading to a multi-organ failure stemming from terminal liver cancer he had been diagnosed with.
During his last hours, Liu was accompanied by his wife, Liu Xia, and several relatives who were very grateful for the hard work of the doctors and nurses, said the doctor.
After two decades of fighting for democracy, Liu was arrested in 2008 and sentenced on December 25, 2009, to 11 years in prison on subversion charges after co-drafting the Charter O8, a political manifesto calling for democratic reforms in China.
In 2010, Liu received the Nobel Peace Prize for his activism in favour of democracy in China. He also played a significant role in the Tiananmen protests of June 1989 which ended in bloodshed when they were quashed by troops.