26 June 2017 – The Chinese authorities must provide PEN member and Nobel Peace Laureate, Liu Xiaobo, with access to all necessary medical care following his diagnosis of late-stage liver cancer, PEN International said today. The association of writers urges the Chinese authorities to allow Liu Xiaobo to seek medical attention wherever he chooses.
Liu Xiaobo, who received his diagnosis on 23 May 2017 and whose health has been deteriorating ever since his arrest in December 2008, is currently receiving treatment in Shenyang Hospital, Liaoning province, where his wife, poet and PEN member, Liu Xia, has been able to visit him. PEN urges the authorities to allow Liu Xia to accompany her husband wherever he might seek medical attention.
Chinese poet and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo was arrested on 8 December 2008, and sentenced to 11 years in prison for his dissident writings and peaceful activism. His imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power” related to his part as the leading author behind “Charter ‘08”, a manifesto calling for protection of universal human rights and democratic reform in China.
In October 2010, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his continued and non-violent struggle for human rights in China. In prison and unable to attend the award ceremony in Oslo, he was represented by an empty chair.
His wife, poet and artist Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest following the Nobel announcement in October 2010 and continues to be held without charge or legal due process. Her home is guarded by security officers and she has been prevented from communicating freely with the outside world.
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