Liu Xiaobo Diagnosed Advanced Liver Cancer Due to Overdue Medical Treatment in Prison
Liu Xiaobo, the Noble Peace Prize Laureate was released on medical treatment on June 26, 2017 after serving 8 years in prison for taking part in the drafting of “Charter 08”. On the same day, the Liaoning Provincial Prison Administration website confirmed that Liu Xiaobo was diagnosed with liver cancer and is now under treatment in the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University. A video clip of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo’s wife, was later released on the internet claiming that Liu Xiaobo's condition is too serious to be treated with chemotherapy, radioactive treatment nor surgery.
Doubts are raised whether there has been a deliberate concealment of Liu’s health condition by the Chinese authorities when news on his health was considered to be in a positive state in February this year. According to Bruce Lui, Senior Lecturer of School of Communication of HKBU, health examinations for prisoners have always been performed regularly for prisoners in China. Thus, Liu Xiaobo’s sickness should, in theory, have been taken care of before it deteriorated. However, when news of Liu’s prognoses of liver cancer broke out in May, it may lead to speculations that the prime time for his medical treatment might have been long overdue due to the cover up on his health.
On June 27, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions took part in demonstration in front of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China. The HKCTU believes that the imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo is a blatant violation on human rights and freedom of speech. While by preventing Liu from appropriate medical treatment at an early stage is also equivalent to denying his rights to survival. Therefore, the HKCTU hereby requests the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release Liu Xiaobo and stop the house arrest of Liu Xia, so that they can arrange the location and method of medical treatments at their own will. The HKCTU also demands the Chinese Government to stop all persecutions of human rights defenders and dissidents in the mainland.