Terminally ill Chinese dissident’s condition worsens

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Beijing, July 6 (IANS) The health of dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who has terminal stage liver cancer, has worsened, according to the hospital where he is being treated.

Liu’s abdominal swelling has deteriorated due to an accumulation of liquid. A medical team led by liver cancer specialist Mao Yilei has been sent to examine him and decide the further course of treatment, EFE news cited a hospital statement as saying.

Authorities have asked Liu’s family to be available around the clock in case his condition deteriorates further, family friend Ye Du said.

Mao is a professor at Peking Union Medical College Hospital’s liver surgery department. Official media said he is also the deputy director of the Chinese Medical Association’s liver surgery committee.

Activist and dissident Hu Jia on Thursday accused China’s Communist Party of denying Liu his freedom, which he said would be the best possible treatment.

Authorities insist Liu is receiving the best treatment possible, while keeping the dissident under strict surveillance, refusing to allow him to leave the country to seek treatment abroad as his family wishes.

Liu, 61, was imprisoned in 2009 for 11 years on subversion charges.

He has been treated in hospital since being released on medical parole between late May and early June when he was diagnosed with terminal-stage liver cancer.

Several international institutions and governments, including the US and the European Union, have increased pressure on China to release Liu and his wife Liu Xia, who was recently united with her husband after spending seven years under house arrest.

Amid growing pressure from the international community, Beijing on Wednesday said it would allow doctors from the US and Germany to assist the Chinese medical team treating Liu.

It is not yet known who these doctors are or when they will arrive, but sources close to the case told EFE they will have to work under the supervision of the authorities.

–IANS

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