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Ailing China dissident Liu still getting emergency treatment: hospital

13 July 2017

The 61-year-old Nobel Peace Prize victor has been released from prison and is being treated for late-stage liver cancer at a university hospital in northeastern Liaoning province.

The family of China's cancer-stricken Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo declined to let doctors put him on artificial ventilation, his hospital said, raising the grim prospect that he could die in custody.

A few days after the meeting, however, the authorities said they had approved the family's request to invite Western doctors to join Liu's medical team, composed of prominent Chinese oncologists, at a hospital in Shenyang in northeastern China.

Liu was granted medical parole in May after he was diagnosed with late-stage kidney cancer. Liu and his family, who are being closely guarded in the hospital, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Two foreign doctors, one German and one American, reported Sunday after visiting Liu that he expressed a desire to leave for the West and said it would be possible to evacuate him safely - but that it needed to happen soon.

Human Rights Watch's China director Sophie Richardson called the leak "grotesque propaganda".

The Trump administration called on the Chinese government to allow ailing rights advocate Liu Xiaobo to seek cancer treatment outside of China and to release his wife from house arrest. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a year later while in prison.

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Ai told The Associated Press in Germany on Wednesday that he has been friends with Liu since the 1980s.

"We hope relevant countries can respect China's judicial sovereignty and not use such individual case to interfere in China's domestic affairs", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a briefing Wednesday.

Ai said Liu is one of many dissidents being oppressed in China. Doctors treating Liu were in an "active rescue" mode, it added, saying they were trying to fight infections, correct Liu's blood pressure and purify his blood.

A more subtle effort to shape the narrative came this week when a video from Liu's hospital room emerged just as the government was saying that he was too sick to be transported overseas and was already receiving world-class treatment in China.

Human rights groups questioned the motives behind the leak of a video showing the United States and German specialists by the bedside of a gaunt-looking Liu as they speak to his wife, Liu Xia, and the Chinese doctors.

The scene was denounced as propaganda by rights groups while the German embassy said Monday it "seems that security organs are steering the process, not medical experts".

Ailing China dissident Liu still getting emergency treatment: hospital