Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize laureate imprisoned in China, dies aged 61

Liu Xiaobo India Tv

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others in Washington mourned the death of the long-imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, a Communist Party-affiliated newspaper in Beijing said the Nobel peace prize laureate had been "kidnapped" by the West and bestowed with "a halo which will not linger".

The embodiment of resistance to oppression and the fight for free speech in China, Liu Xiaobo died Thursday, less than three weeks after the announcement that he had been moved from a prison in the northeastern province of Liaoning to a nearby hospital with final-stage liver cancer.

"The handling of Liu Xiaobo's case belongs to China's domestic affairs, and foreign countries are in no position to make improper remarks", said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

Those in Japan who knew Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo expressed shock Friday at news of his death, saying he was a noble man who dedicated his life to pursuing liberal democratic reform.

Liu was only the second Nobel Peace Prize victor to die while in custody, Freeland noted.

In the wake of Liu Xiaobo's death on Thursday, supporters of China's most famous jailed dissident have voiced their worries about the fate of his widow, calling on the Chinese government to finally give Liu Xia her freedom.

China punished Norway by suspending political and economic ties - including salmon imports from Norway - until past year, when Oslo promised to respect "China's core interests and major concerns". But the least it could have done in the case of its internationally known rights activist was to allow him to travel overseas for treatment when it became known he was battling for his life with liver cancer.

"I'm saddened. It's a huge shock for me", Liu, who is not related to the laureate, said.

Liu's biographer and friend, the USA -based dissident Yu Jie, believes that China's government had a motive to withhold or delay treatment: It feared the consequences of Liu getting out of prison alive.

Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times said in an English editorial that Mr Liu was "a victim led astray" by the West. "Now that Xiaobo is gone, all attention would be channelled to her but we shall continue to push for her evacuation out of China.This is his diying wish to have her to live without fear".

Despite pleas form all over the country, he was not allowed medical parole until much later, when he was hospitalised in northeast China. He died on the 13th July 2017 in the company of his wife, Liu Xia, who is now under house arrest. "This is a country that can't even offer the most basic human rights protections, and it is adamant that Taiwan should be considered a part of it". He is the first Nobel Peace Prize victor to die in state custody since 1938, when German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky died after years in Nazi Germany's concentration camps.

Turkish writer Elif Shafak hailed Lui "a courageous and generous soul who dared to stand for freedom", and United Kingdom poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy praised him for his work, power, courage and love with thanks for "everything you have done in your fight for a better world". A photograph posted on July 5 on Twitter by the dissident writer Ye Du showed an emaciated Liu at the hospital with his wife, Yu Xia, a photographer and poet who had pleaded for better medical care for Liu.

Chairwoman of the Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen stated that the Chinese government "bears a heavy responsibility for his premature death". "She is at this moment the person who is suffering most", Hu said. "Even if he could live longer, he would never have achieved his political goals".

In December 2008, Liu and more than 300 other Chinese intellectuals and civil rights activists published the Charter 08.

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