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Ai Weiwei says Liu Xiaobo's case China's 'shame'

Ai Weiwei says Liu Xiaobo's case China's 'shame'

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. At the ceremony of his award presentation in Oslo Norway, Xiaobo's assigned chair was empty as he was serving an 11-year jail term in his own country "for inciting subversion of state power".

Worldwide fame came soon afterward when he was named as the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China".

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".

Diagnosed with liver cancer at the end of May, he was granted "medical parole", and died on Thursday, aged 61.

"I call on the Chinese government to release Liu Xia from house arrest and allow her to depart China, according to her wishes", he said.

"I want to pay my highest respects to this tireless advocate for human rights", Tsai said in a statement that she also posted to Twitter.

China, however, said the case remained an internal matter.

Activist Hu Jia said authorities were pressuring Liu's family to quickly cremate his body.

The world leaders, however, are praising Liu and called on China to release his widow, Liu Xia, from house arrest.

"When Mr. Liu Xiaobo died, he was not in any pain at that moment, he was very much at peace, because all of his relatives said their goodbyes beforehand".

"Despite enduring years of persecution, suppression and imprisonment, Liu Xiaobo continued to fight for his convictions", Shetty said. The futility of it all as nothing has changed in all of Liu's years of fighting for reform in the Communist Party-dominated regime is what the free world will have to live with. Liu Xia has lived under house arrest since 2010.

As tributes to China's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo flood worldwide media, those in China are refraining from giving prominence to the influential dissident. "However, the West only puts a halo on those useful to them", said the outlet, which is published by the same group that publishes the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily, adding that Mr Liu's political goals were "in opposition to the path of history".

The intellectual turned activist first rose to prominence for his role during the 1989 Tianenman Square protests - which saw a peaceful student demonstration descend into chaos when government troops opened fire on the crowds, killing hundreds.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that the United Nations chief sent his condolences to Liu's family and friends.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, defended the country on Friday from criticism over Liu's treatment. Liu died after a battle with cancer, remaining in custody until the end as officials rebuffed global pleas to let the prominent dissident receive treatment overseas. He served three prison sentences in the 1990s, totalling nearly five years. In the same statement Liu had prepared for his trial, he addressed his wife.

He became the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1938, who had been held by the Nazis.

Another friend, Zhang Huanping, said she had also not heard from her. "Xiami, your pain, persecution, loneliness and helplessness go without saying", Zhang tweeted, referring to Liu Xia by her nickname. Some critics warned that the treatment of Mr. Liu has marred China's global reputation and tarnished the legacy of President Xi Jinping, who has taken a hard line against dissidents.

While Beijing may have shrugged off foreign censure, authorities feared Liu's appeal at home, his supporters said.


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