Liu Xiaobo, one of the most important Chinese dissidents of his generation, has died.
The News Lens
By: TNL Staff
The 61-year-old democracy campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner has been jailed for
most of the past decade. He was diagnosed with liver cancer on May 23 and was released for medical treatment days later.
Liu died Thursday while still in custody following a battle with cancer, authorities said, after officials ignored international pleas to let him spend his final days free and abroad. The legal bureau in the northeastern city of Shenyang said on its website that Liu died three days after going into intensive care at the First Hospital of China Medical University.
The writer’s death silences a government critic who had been a thorn in the side of the authorities for decades and became a symbol of Beijing’s growing crackdown on dissenting voices.
Liu’s death puts China in dubious company as he became the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who passed away in a hospital while held by the Nazis in 1938.
Liu was jailed at numerous points in his life, including for two years after the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and for several years in the 1990s for his involvement in democracy and human rights movements in China. [FULL STORY]