China's jailed Nobel Peace laureate granted medical parole

China's jailed Nobel Peace laureate granted medical parole

China's jailed Nobel Peace laureate granted medical parole

But Mr Liu, 61, has served his last sentence: the Nobel Peace Prize victor has been released from prison on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.

Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan posted on social media that Liu was being treated in a hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning province.

"He has no special plans".

Liu, who has about three years of his 11-year sentence to serve, was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer on May 23 and granted medical parole days later, lawyer Mo Shaoping told AFP. She has been in detention for seven years, although she has never been formally charged with a crime.

Shortly after Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, his wife and fellow poet, Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest as a part of the Chinese government's crackdown on dissent. The award was presented to an empty chair, which later became a symbol of China's repression. Mo has not visited Liu in the hospital, because of a deal he made with Chinese authorities to not represent the dissident further after defending him during his appeal. In 2008, he helped compose a petition, called "Charter 08" and later signed by hundreds of scholars and activists. He is the only Nobel laureate still serving a jail term.

"The Chinese authorities must provide Liu Xiaobo open access to his counsel and to the global community so that his wishes at this hard time can be ascertained and honored", he said in a statement.

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Pictures of Chinese dissidents, including Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (2nd-L), are seen on a banner during a rally for Liu December 10, 2010 in Washington, DC.

The news set off a flurry of comments on Twitter, which isn't directly accessible within China, and which is often used by rights activists to make statements by circumventing the Great Firewall of government blocks, filters and human censors.

"I firmly believe that China's political progress will not stop, and I, filled with optimism, look forward to the advent of a future free China", he said in a statement released after the trial. Liu had previously been jailed for two years in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the subsequent massacre.

Liu, who holds a doctorate in Chinese literature, was once a professor at Beijing Normal University, but was banned from teaching at state institutions over his involvement in the 1989 demonstrations.

Richard Choi, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, which has long campaigned on behalf of the Lius, agreed.

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