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Liu Xiaobo, China’s Nelson Mandela

Posted July. 11, 2017 07:40,   

Updated July. 11, 2017 07:55

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Liu Xiaobo, 61, a Chinese dissident who are on medical parole after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer, is said to be in a critical condition. Beijing said he is in a critical condition and finally allowed his family to visit him. While it permitted Western doctors to see him right before the G20 summit, it rejected Liu’s request for medical treatment abroad immediately after the summit. Though the Chinese government claimed that it was concerned about transportation, it would in fact have worried about his dissident activities outside China.

 

Liu who led a student movement during the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989 was sentenced to a three-year prison term for inciting the subversion of state power. After he requested reassessment of the protest in 1995, he was put under house arrest for nine months. When he called for a peaceful unification with Taiwan in 1996, he was sentenced to three years in a labor camp. He initiated a drive to sign the Chapter 08 criticizing the Communist Party of China, only to be sentenced to 11 years in prison. In total, he was put under arrest or imprisoned for four times. When he was in prison, he became the first Chinese who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. He is called China’s Nelson Mandela outside China, but no one knows who he is in China. Baidu, the largest portal website in China, described him as a person who took corrupt money from a U?S. organization.

 

While most dissidents chose to exile abroad due to the pressure from the authorities, he eventually did not leave and struggled in China. Fang Lizhi, a famous Chinese astrophysicist, and Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights lawyer, exiled or escaped to the U.S. Liu apparently wanted his wife to live in a free country. Foreign media outlet reported that he wanted to get medical treatment abroad not for himself but for his wife Liu Xia, 54, who has also been under house arrest for 10 years.

It is said that more than 180,000 protests per year are held out of discontent about society. The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has an armed protest for independence every day. It means numerous people are imprisoned without the knowledge of the Chinese general public. Liu has called for freedom, human rights, equality, democracy and rule of law for his life. There is a long way to go for a country that cannot accept such universal values to become a world leader.