Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Chinese dissident, has died, local authorities said in a statement Thursday. He was 61.
Liu had been suffering from liver cancer and died of multiple organ failure.
In June, he was granted medical parole after being diagnosed with liver cancer in prison. The Beijing government refused to let him seek treatment overseas despite Liu’s wishes and international pressure. Chinese authorities eventually allowed doctors from Germany and the United States to treat him.
Liu spent more than a decade behind bars in China for his advocacy of democracy, including taking part in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
His most recent prison sentence stemmed from his co-authorship of Charter 08, a manifesto calling for political reform and human rights in China. Liu was convicted in December 2009 and received a surprisingly harsh 11-year prison term for “inciting subversion of state power.”
Liu Xiaobo, the unwitting martyr
Judicial authorities in Shenyang, where Liu was being treated, said he was given emergency treatment beginning Monday after his condition continued to deteriorate.
In the Chinese government’s first official statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said authorities “made all-out efforts to treat him out of humanity and in accordance with law” after Liu was diagnosed with liver cancer.
Shuang said Liu was convicted of violating Chinese law and criticism of China’s handling of the case was an “improper” intrusion into the country’s domestic affair