07/05/2017, 09.38
CHINA

Foreign Doctors invited to China to treat 'subversive' Nobel Peace Laureate, Liu Xiaobo

Wang Zhicheng

Medical experts from the United States and Germany. Hopes that the dissident can be brought abroad for treatment. Open letter to the G20 leaders to press Xi Jinping, who will be present at the Hamburg meeting. Visitors to the hospital could not find the patient.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - China has urged medical experts from the United States and Germany to help treat dissident Liu Xiaobo, who is suffering with terminal cancer.

Liu, 61, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for "subversion of state power" for writing the Charter '08, which called for political reforms, democracy and religious freedom for the country. While in prison, in 2010 Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Isolated for a long time, last May he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and as a result, while still deemed a "subversive" prisoner (as defined by the Party press), he was hospitalized in Shenyang ( Liaoning). Many of his friends accuse the government of intentionally delaying diagnosis and treatment.

According to a source close to the family - cited by Reuters - the invitation to doctors from the US and Germany may suggest that China is planning to transfer Liu to one of these two countries but their respective embassies in Beijing have not commented.

The idea of ​​a possible foreign transfer of Liu is also suggested to AsiaNews by local sources. So far, the inquires of diplomats from the United States and the European Union have met with the Foreign Ministry reply that Liu's illness is "an internal affair of China" and that foreign countries should not be involved.

This weekend, July 7 and 8, President Xi Jinping is due to travel to Hamburg for a G20 meeting. Many human rights groups are preparing demonstrations and petitions.

Human rights groups today signed an open letter asking the G20 leaders to press on China for the release of Liu Xiaobo, granting him the freedom to go where he wants.

According to diplomatic sources, China is nervous that Liu Xiaobo's problem may result in damaging Xi’s image just as he is trying to present himself and his country as models for environmental protection and the fight against climate change as well for globalization and free trade.

Yesterday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, met with Chinese representatives, asking for clemency and respect for Liu.

One worrying factor is that many people have tried to visit Liu at Shenyang Hospital, but hospital staff have told them that Liu is not there. However, there are photographs depicting the sick man along with his wife (see photo) and surrounded by some doctors posted on social media.

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