China allows brothers to visit Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo

Elias Hubbard
July 8, 2017

The German foreign ministry confirmed that a German doctor was now on site at the hospital in Shenyang that was treating Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo for his advanced liver cancer.

The European Parliament on Thursday urged China to immediately release the couple from house arrest, and allow Liu to seek treatment freely.

Liu was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May while serving an 11-year sentence for inciting subversion by advocating sweeping political reforms that would end China's one-party rule.

The First Hospital of China Medical University said Liu was visited by American oncology expert Joseph Herman from the MD Anderson Cancer Center and German doctor Marcus Buchler from Heidelberg University.

Liu is under treatment at the Number One Teaching Hospital of the China Medical Sciences University, where there is a unit on the 23rd floor usually reserved for high-level officials. Liu has accumulated a large amount of abdominal fluid, the statement said, calling his condition "quite serious".

(File) Protestors hold banners as they wait for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping to arrive at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017.

But Poon said the decision "shows that China is determined not to fulfil Liu Xiaobo's wish to receive medical care abroad". "However, we have received no further information from the Chinese government", she said.

American and German doctors are set to visit Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese democracy activist who has liver cancer, sources familiar with Liu's case have said. A VOA reporter attempting to get behind the screen was stopped by men on the other side of the screen as well as a man, clad in black, who was trailing the reporter.

The hospital, however, has not announced Liu's whereabouts.

China allows brothers to visit Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo
China allows brothers to visit Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo

On June 26, the Liaoning Prison Administration Bureau confirmed that Liu had been granted medical parole due to his liver cancer.

The two brothers of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo have been given permission to visit him in northeastern China, according to a family friend.

Zeng Jinyan, a close family friend in contact with Liu's brother-in-law Liu Hui, confirmed on Friday that Liu's situation was not optimistic.

"The Chinese government often pressures family members to write statements or record videos to make claims in its favor", Patrick Poon, a China researcher for the human rights group Amnesty International, said in a message to Reuters, referring to the letter. Banner reads, "Let's talk about pandas and not about human rights" (L) and "Free movement for Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia" (R). The specialist was allowed in by China following global criticism of Beijing's handling of Liu's illness and calls for him to be treated overseas. Chinese authorities have, however, rejected his requests to travel overseas for treatment with his wife Liu Xia, who is under house arrest in Beijing.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a regular press briefing on Friday expressed displeasure at the UN's involvement in the matter, likely pointing to Zeid Ra'ad's recent meeting with Chinese officials.

"Relevant U.N. officials should strictly abide by the U.N. charter's purposes and principles, should respect China's judicial sovereignty and not interfere in China's internal affairs", Geng told a daily news briefing.

In a press briefing Friday, Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the United Nations commissioner, said 24 hours have passed since the visit request was made but there's been nothing yet from the Chinese side.

"We understand that the Chinese hospital treating Liu has invited U.S. and German medical experts to China for consultations".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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