BEIJING — The Latest on the death of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (all times local):
Members of the U.S. Congress have held a hearing on the life of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo following his death in Chinese custody.
Rep. Christopher Smith, chairman of the House panel on global human rights, said Liu’s death Thursday from liver cancer was a catastrophic loss for China and the entire world, and that his contributions to human rights should never be forgotten.
Liu, China’s most prominent political prisoner, was serving an 11-year sentence on charges of inciting subversion of state power.
Smith said Friday that Liu’s imprisonment amounted to a death sentence and the blame lies squarely with the Chinese government.
He said the government tried to curtail Liu’s ideas, yet they live on in the hearts of millions of Chinese people. He also urged China to release Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, from house arrest.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman says Germany will continue to push for a “humanitarian solution” for the widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Liu, China’s most prominent political prisoner, died Thursday of liver cancer. A German and an American doctor visited him last weekend, and Berlin had urged Beijing to allow him to leave for treatment abroad — possibly in Germany.
After Liu’s death, Germany’s foreign minister pressed China to allow his wife, Liu Xia, to leave for Germany or another country of her choice.
Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday that Germany has supported a “humanitarian solution” for the couple “and that will not end from one day to the next with the very regrettable death of Liu Xiaobo.” He didn’t elaborate.
Japan’s government says it will continue to pay close attention to human rights in China after the death of its most famous political prisoner.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga offered condolences for Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and said he had devoted his life to the pursuit of freedom and democracy.
Suga said respect for human rights and the rule of law are universal values and are important for all countries to guarantee.
Liu, who died Thursday of liver cancer, was awarded the 2010 Nobel while he was imprisoned for inciting subversion. His widow remains under house arrest.
A newspaper published by China’s ruling Communist Party is dismissing late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo as a political pawn of the West whose legacy will fade.
The rare mention of Liu in Chinese-language media comes as international tributes flow in for the political prisoner. He died Thursday of liver cancer.
The Global Times said in Friday’s editorial that Liu lived a “tragic life” because he sought to confront Chinese mainstream society with outside support.
Liu, a prolific essayist and literary critic, was serving an 11-year sentence for incitement to subversion. He was in prison when he was awarded the 2010 Nobel for advocating democratic reforms and human rights in China.
World leaders have praised Liu and called on China to release his widow, Liu Xia, from house arrest.
The White House says President Donald Trump was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Chinese political prisoner Liu Xiaobo.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer says in a brief statement, “The President’s heartfelt condolences go out to Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, and his family and friends. “
The United States had called on China’s government to let the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and democracy activist seek medical care at a location of his choosing. But China considered such requests to be interference in its own affairs and considered Liu a criminal.
The White House statement does not offer any criticism of China or of Liu’s case.
Liu’s wife remains under house arrest.
China has rejected foreign criticism of Beijing’s handling of the illness from which imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo died Thursday.
The Foreign Ministry in Beijing, in an early morning statement Friday, says China made “all-out efforts” to treat Liu after he was diagnosed with liver cancer while in prison.
The statement says foreign countries “are in no position to make improper remarks” over the handling of Liu’s case, which Beijing sees as a domestic affair.
Liu’s death has triggered a flurry of calls from Western governments and officials for Beijing to let his wife leave China as she wishes.
Human rights groups and some governments had earlier urged Beijing to release Liu so that he could seek treatment abroad, but China rebuffed such suggestions, saying he was already getting the best care possible.
The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiabo.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that the U.N. chief sent his condolences to Liu’s family and friends. But he had no comment when asked whether Guterres had a view on whether Liu, China’s most prominent political prisoner, should have been allowed to travel abroad for treatment or about his wife.
Guterres’ tepid reaction was a sharp contrast to that of U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who called Liu “China’s iconic peace and democracy figure” and urged Chinese authorities to guarantee his wife, Liu Xia, “freedom of movement, and allow her to travel abroad should she wish so.”
Zeid said Liu “devoted his life to defending and promoting human rights, peacefully and consistently,” and “was the definition of civic courage and human dignity — a poet and intellectual who wanted, and strove for, a better future for his country.”
“Despite all he suffered, (he) continued to espouse the politics of peace,” the U.N. high commissioner for human rights said. “He was and will continue to be an inspiration and an example for all human rights defenders.”
Germany’s foreign minister is urging the Chinese government to let Liu Xiaobo’s wife and brother leave the country following the death of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Berlin had urged Beijing in recent days to let Liu leave China for treatment abroad, possibly in Germany. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday he “deeply regrets” that China didn’t let Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, travel to Germany.
He urged China to lift restrictions on Liu Xia’s movements and communications and added, “She and her brother, Liu Hui, should immediately be allowed to leave for Germany or another country of their choice if they wish to.”
Gabriel also urged China to look in a “credible and transparent way” into whether Liu Xiaobo’s illness could and should have been detected earlier.
Liu was transferred to a hospital after being diagnosed with advanced liver cancer in prison in May but remained under police custody.
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