Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Laureate While Jailed, Dies at 61

The New York times reports that Liu Xiaobo, the rebel Chinese intellectual who kept a dignified vigil on Tiananmen Square in 1989 to protect protesters from encroaching soldiers, promoted a pro-democracy charter that brought him an 11-year prison sentence and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 2010 while locked away, died on Thursday, July 13. He was 61. It was the bureau of justice of Shenyang, the city in northeastern China where Mr. Liu was being treated for cancer, announced his death on its website.

The Chinese government revealed he had liver cancer in late June only after it was virtually beyond treatment. Officially, Mr. Liu gained medical parole. But even as he faced death, he was kept silenced and under guard in a hospital, still a captive of the authoritarian controls that he had fought for decades. He was the first Nobel Peace laureate to die in state custody since Carl von Ossietzky, the German pacifist and foe of Nazism who won the prize in 1935 and died under guard in 1938 after years of maltreatment.

The police in China have kept Mr. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, under house arrest and smothering surveillance, preventing her from speaking out about Mr. Liu’s death and his belated treatment for cancer.



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