Until the last moment, the Chinese government wanted to keep the great dissident and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laurate under their control.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – Liu Xiaobo is dead. The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner was one of the most important iconic figures in China’s pro-democracy movement.
The dissident - who was not allowed to accept the prize – suffered from liver cancer. On 26 June, he was released from the prison where he had been detained since 2009 for “subverting our country's people's democratic dictatorship and socialist system”, the court had said.
Liu’s sentence, which Human Rights Watch had labelled "a travesty of justice" and UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay had described as “extremely harsh”, stems from his involvement with ‘Charter 08’, a manifesto in which he called on the Chinese Communist Party to engage in social and political reforms.
Although he was terminally ill, Liu was not allowed to go abroad for treatment as his family had asked. Instead, he was released from prison.
On Monday, two doctors, an American and a German, who visited him, said that Liu Xiaobo could have safely travelled and left China if Beijing had allowed it.
However, Chinese authorities were clearly scared of the Nobel Prize even though he was on the last leg of his earthly journey, and kept him where they could keep watch over him. Until the end.
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After appearing on television to "confess his crimes" and spending six months under "house arrest", the lawyer was released. Together with activists for civil liberties, he defended the Christian churches against Zhejiang province authorities.