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China's artists defy censorship ban to mourn Liu Xiaobo

China's artists defy censorship ban to mourn Liu Xiaobo

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei says China's imprisonment of ailing Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo is "a shame for the Chinese government and a shame for the worldwide community". He was the first Nobel Peace laureate to die in state custody since Carl von Ossietzky, the German pacifist and foe of Nazism who won the prize in 1935 and died under guard in 1938 after years of maltreatment.

House Foreign Affairs subcommittee chairman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said Beijing is responsible for the recent death of Chinese dissident and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo.

In 2010, while he was in prison, the Nobel committee awarded Liu the peace prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China" - a move that infuriated Beijing.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen released a statement late Thursday on the death of Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. He predicted that even after Liu's death, Beijing's attempts to cover up his message of democratic change would persist.

She did issue a statement of condolence late Thursday, after news broke of the death of the Nobel Peace Prize victor whose prize set off a six-year diplomatic freeze between Norway and China.

His death also brought criticism for Chinese authorities who refused global pleas to let him receive treatment overseas.

In a hastily arranged press conference in Shenyang after his death, Liu Xiaobo's Chinese doctors acknowledged for the first time that he had sought treatment overseas but insisted that his medical condition by then had made global travel impossible.

Second right: Liu with other demonstrators at the Tianenmen Square, Beijing in 1989. He suggested that the death of Liu removes another thorny issue for the Norwegian government, like whether he should have been invited to Norway at the risk of angering China once again.

"For Liu Xiaobo, whatever the United States says or does is right, and whatever the Communist Party says or does is wrong", a source with ties to the leadership said. "That showed his earnest hope in the society's transformation and the country's democratization", said Hu Jia, a Chinese rights activist and friend of Liu and his family.

"Mr Liu dedicated his life to the betterment of his country and humankind, and to the pursuit of justice and liberty", Tillerson said in a statement.

Salil Shetty, secretary-general of Amnesty International, called Liu "a man of fierce intellect, principle, wit and above all humanity".

Liu was jailed for 11 years in 2009 after he helped write a petition calling for sweeping political reforms.

Worldwide human rights groups, Western governments and local activists had urged authorities to free Liu and grant his final wish to be treated overseas.

Liu, a well-known human rights activist and dissident, passed away on Thursday after battling liver cancer. On the contrary, in person, Liu could be unnervingly optimistic.

A drawing of Liu and his wife.

Liu was only the second Nobel Peace Prize victor to die in prison, a fact pointed to by human rights groups as an indication of the Chinese Communist Party's increasingly hard line against its critics. "It's a blasphemy of the peace prize".

His wife, Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest in 2010, but she was allowed to see him at the hospital. "Ever since leaving the safety and comfort of America to lead the protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989, Liu sealed his fate as a persistent focus of persecution from the authoritarian PRC (People's Republic of China)", Cruz said.

"We think the human right to freedom is very important to us". "Even if he could live longer, he would never have achieved his political goals".

She then referred to the "Chinese Dream", a term popularized by Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

His doctors said that Liu Xia was by her husband's side when the moment finally came.

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