China, Liu Xiaobo: Global criticism of Beijing

Harsh comments on the government's no to overseas treatment.  Focus now on concerns for his wife, her mental health and calls for her freedom. Twitter creates #FreeLiuXia hashtag.

Rome (AsiaNews) - The death of Liu Xiaobo, who Chinese government kept in custody until the very end, has provoked an avalanche of criticism of the Beijing authorities, also recalling that before Liu, the only other nation to let a Nobel Peace Laureate die in prison was Nazi Germany, in 1938, with Carl von Ossietzky.


Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, spoke of "heavy responsibility" of the Chinese government for the premature death of the dissident who was denied the possibility of being treated abroad. In a statement he claims that Liu Xiaobo represented "ideas that resonate in millions of people around the world, even in China. These ideas cannot be imprisoned and will never die. "

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said that "Liu Xiaobo was the real incarnation of the democratic and nonviolent ideals that he so earnestly endorsed." "Despite the imprisonment and separation from his wife whom he worshiped and which could have fueled anger and bitterness, Liu Xiaobo said he did not hate those who persecuted him."


The White House called Liu "a political prisoner" and expressed "heartfelt condolences" to the dissident's wife, Liu Xia. International attention has now shifted to her with growing concern for her mental health and the demand for her freedom. Twitter has been created the #FreeLiuXia hashtag.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has asked China to allow the realization of Liu’s "Chinese dream" by increasing political reforms and recognizing people’s "the natural right to democratic freedom."

Democratic groups in Hong Kong, for their part, have expressed their commitment to continuing non-violent protests.

In Japan, government secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed "sincere condolences for the death of Liu Xiaobo who devoted his life to freedom and democracy." He added that "freedom, human rights and the rule of law are universal values ​​The international community, and we (Japan) believe it is important to be guaranteed in China as well."  There have been similar, comments from European governments such as Germany and Great Britain.


The comments of human rights organizations are striking. Sophie Richardson, director of the China Human Rights Watch section, said that "government arrogance, cruelty and insensitivity are upsetting, but Liu's struggle for a rights-democratic and democratic China will live." Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, stressed that "despite years of persecution, oppression and imprisonment, Liu Xiaobo has continued to fight for his convictions."

There has been no rethinking, of course, by Beijing.  Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that for Liu "all efforts were made to treat him humanly and according to the law." The news of his death has been practically silenced nationally. The Global Times, an English organ of the Communist Party, writes today that "Liu's last days have been politicized by foreign forces. They used Liu as a tool to strengthen his image and demonize China. They were not really interested in prolonging his life. The West has granted Liu a halo, which will not last. By granting him the Nobel Prize, the West has 'kidnapped' Liu. He "has lived in an era where China has witnessed the fastest growth of its recent history, but has tried to counter Chinese society with the support of the West. This has led to his tragic life. Even if he could have lived longer, he would never reach his political goals that are in conflict with the path of history. "