Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize victor for his efforts to promote democracy in Communist China, died at age 61 due to multiple organ failure from cancer. He was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in June, BBC News reported. He died of multiple organ failure on Thursday morning, according to the Associated Press.
"Hitler was wild and strong and thought he was right - but history proved he was wrong in imprisoning a Nobel Peace Prize victor", said Mo Shaoping, an old friend and Liu's former lawyer. "In his death, he has only reaffirmed the Nobel Committee's selection", Tillerson said in a statement. He says a visit Liu made one day to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY led to a sort of revelation.
U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said Liu was "the true embodiment of the democratic, non-violent ideals he so ardently advocated", adding that China has "lost a principled champion who devoted his life to defending and promoting human rights".
A university professor turned rights campaigner, Liu was branded a criminal by the authorities. In 1989, thousands of Chinese students and protestors demonstrated for weeks in Tiananmen Square calling for democratic reform. Troops including tanks subsequently took the square by force. The military crackdown killed hundreds, possibly thousands, of people and heralded a more repressive era.
Although numerous Charter 08 signers were interrogated, only Liu was arrested and charged with trying to overthrow the government.
The 11-year jail term he was serving when he died was handed down in 2009 after he compiled, with other intellectuals, the Charter 08 manifesto.
Worldwide tributes poured in for a "hero" of democracy while human rights groups accused the government of "cruelty".
He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in absentia for his work campaigning for human rights in China.
At the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo in 2010 he was represented by an empty chair. Liu Xia has been under tight surveillance and largely isolated, despite not being charged for a crime.
Lawmakers slam Alvarez's proposal to extend martial law to 2022
Martial law , even if warranted, even if there is factual basis for it, is never good for the country... New reports earlier quoted Mr.
"I believe the last Nobel Peace Prize laureate to be effectively killed by his own government was Carl [von Ossietzky], in Germany in 1938".
Only one other Nobel Peace Prize victor has died in state custody - Carl von Ossietzky, in Nazi Germany in 1938.
China punished Norway by suspending political and economic ties - including salmon imports from Norway - until a year ago, when Oslo promised to respect "China's core interests and major concerns". Liu is a pro-democracy activist who has been in jail for the last seven years.
Worldwide human rights groups, Western governments and local activists had urged authorities to free Liu and grant his final wish to be treated overseas.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi also expressed her condolences for Liu and disappointment with the Chinese government's handling of his illness. The president of Taiwan tweeted her support on Wednesday. Time and again they tried to silence him, and time and again they failed.
"Liu Xiaobo's death is a tragedy and a deep affront to the basic notions of justice and human dignity".
He was found guilty on December 25, 2009 of "engaging in agitation activities, such as the spreading of rumors and defaming of the government, aimed at subversion of the state and overthrowing the socialist system" and handed an 11-year jail term, which he served mostly in Liaoning, far from his Beijing-based friends and family. He hasn't been heard publicly since.
"That is why I hope to be able to transcend my personal experiences as I look upon our nation's development and social change, to counter the regime's hostility with utmost goodwill, and to dispel hatred with love".