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Liu Xiaobo, China's Jailed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dies Battling Cancer

Liu Xiaobo, China's Jailed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dies Battling Cancer

Liu Xiaobo, China's Jailed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dies Battling Cancer

A German and an American doctor who recently visited and examined him in a hospital in the north-eastern city of Shenyang both said he would be able to travel overseas. Chinese judicial bureau says he has died of multiple organ failure.

Hu Jia, a fellow dissident who counts Liu as a close friend, said the scuffle over his final days proved some of what Liu had been saying all along: that the ruling Communist Party could be "coldblooded and cruel".

Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo has died aged 61.

Mr Liu was a pro-democracy figurehead for activists outside mainland China, although many of his compatriots were unaware of his struggles because the authorities rigorously censored news about him.

"I urge the Chinese authorities to guarantee Liu Xia's freedom of movement, and allow her to travel overseas should she wish so", he said.

For his participation in the student protests, Liu spent two years in prison.

Liu's wife, Liu Xia, is under house arrest and has not been allowed to speak openly about the health of her husband. China rebuffs the calls.

The document was signed by more than 300 lawyers, academics and activists and spread quickly across China's internet, then less tightly controlled.

Charter '08, issued in 2008, reflected an apparent shift in China at the time toward becoming more open to liberal ideals, said Beijing-based historian and political commentator Zhang Lifan.

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The leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee which, to Beijing's ire, awarded Liu the peace prize in 2010, said the Chinese government bore a heavy responsibility for his death. However, China considers the award reflects poorly on the Nobel Committee, as Liu was convicted of criminal acts against the State before the prize was announced.

After spending almost two years in detention following the Tiananmen crackdown, Liu was detained for the second time in 1995 after drafting a plea for political reform. "Liu Xiaobo was the definition of civic courage and human dignity - a poet and intellectual who wanted, and strove for, a better future for his country. How can a regime treat a person like Liu Xiaobo like this?"

Liu was released from prison in late June to receive treatment for liver cancer.

His death also brought criticism for Chinese authorities who refused worldwide pleas to let him receive treatment overseas. However, China jailed Xiaobo for "inciting subversion of state power" was unhappy with the award, and did not allow him or his family to go to Norway to receive it.

Already seriously ill, Liu, a thorn in the ruling Communist Party's side since he helped negotiate a deal to allow protesters to leave Tiananmen Square before troops and tanks rolled in, was moved last month from prison to a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang to be treated.

Liu was born December 28, 1955, in Changchun city, in the northeastern province of Jilin.

Liu became one of hundreds of Chinese imprisoned for crimes linked to the demonstrations.

Along with activists Hou Dejian, Gao Xin and Zhou Tuo, Liu was dubbed a "junzi", or gentleman, for his leading role in the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. He was sent to a labor camp for three years in 1996, the same year he married Liu Xia.

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