Thursday, July 6, 2017

Liu Xiaobo, China's most famous political prisoner, 'close to death' // Liu Xiaobo's unbearable fate is stark symbol of where China is heading

NB: The Chinese Communist Party has established a tyranny over its citizens. It brutally punishes those who call for democracy and for adherence to its own constitution. Its cruelty towards the brave individuals who insist on the freedom of conscience is an indicator of totalitarianism; and the Partys' fear of truthful speech. The treatment of Liu is a barbarity that must be condemned. It is hard to believe that the wife of a dying man and he himself could be such a threat to the Chinese super-power that even their brief meeting would need to be so severely curtailed: "In the past three years, Liu Xia has not been allowed to deliver her letters to her husband when visiting him. Liu Xiaobo used to be able to receive his wife's letters from his lawyers through her younger brother Liu Hui. Now, the prison simply returns the unread letters to her. During the past three months, his lawyer has even been refused visits with him." All those who stand for democracy and human rights should support the struggle for democracy in China. If Liu passes away his death will be one more act of criminality committed by the CCP: DS

The condition of China’s most famous political prisoner, the democracy campaigner and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, has worsened, family friends and local reports have said. Liu, 61, was jailed in 2009 for allegedly trying to topple China’s one-party state. He was given medical parole last month after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. The dissident writer has been receiving treatment at a hospital in the north-eastern city of Shenyang where, according to one report, he has been separated from other patients and is guarded by plainclothes agents from China’s paramilitary armed police.
Writing on Twitter on Thursday, Ye Du, a dissident poet and family friend, said Liu’s condition had worsened and that relatives had been told he did not have much more time to live. Citing medical staff and another family friend, the Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK reported that doctors had stopped giving Liu medication because he was too weak for treatment. He was also no longer able to eat. Yang Jianli, the friend, told RTHK Liu had developed a kidney problem as a result of the accumu-lation of fluid in his abdomen. A photograph that circulated among friends and activists on Thursday showed a visibly emaciated Liu standing beside his wife, the writer Liu Xia

Liu’s worsening health has distressed his friends and many admirers. “As someone who had a chance to talk to him in the past, I really feel heartbroken to see how he has been treated,” said Patrick Poon, a Hong Kong-based Amnesty International activist. For the Chinese government it represents a public relations disaster, coming on the eve of the G20 summit in Hamburg. The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, had hoped to use the two-day summit to bolster China’s case to be seen as a responsible and forward-looking world power. The state now faces international embarrassment and censure over its treatment of the 2010 Nobel peace prize winner.

The Global Times – a state-run tabloid that uses the Communist party description of Liu as a “convicted criminal”, rather than a political prisoner – emphasised the efforts that were now being put into his treatment. “A team of medical experts from all over China headed by a renowned surgeon from Beijing has arrived in Shenyang to help treat Liu Xiaobo,” the newspaper reported on Thursday.
However, campaigners and critics dismiss such reports as a smokescreen intended to cover-up Beijing’s persecution of Liu and his family. Poon said Beijing was attempting to shift the focus on to how much medical attention Liu was receiving to shirk responsibility for its “cold-blooded” treatment of the democracy activist. Beijing had repeatedly rejected calls for Liu to be treated abroad, Poon pointed out. “They simply ignored Liu’s modest request: to live out his last days in dignity,” he said. “Now, we might lose him any time soon.”

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NB: The Chinese Communist Party has always been terrified of the truth. They choose to crush those of their citizens who uphold their own constitutional rights. Clearly these rights are meant as face-cream for a repressive and authoritarian regime that can't face the truth about itself. This is not new, it was the case during the Bangladesh crisis of 1970-71, and during the Naxalite movement, when they supported the genocidal Yahya Khan regime and kept the facts from their own people. Democrats the world over should support this brave lawyer.  Down with totalitarianism. DS