Liu Xiaobo's Friends Renew Calls for Greater Democracy in China in Wake of Nobel Peace Prize

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

Friends of China's most prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo have accused the Chinese Government of violating human rights after the activist died of multiple organ failures brought on by liver cancer.

61-year-old Liu was a prominent participant in the Tiananmen prodemocracy protests of 1989 and continued to call for political reform with his 2008 charter before being arrested. While in custody in 2010, he won the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to an empty chair in his absence.

Now, in a controversial step sure to anger Beijing and to honor Mr. Liu, some of his closest friends and colleagues are renewing calls for greater democracy in China.

One of Mr. Liu's last wishes was to leave China and get medical treatment in Germany or America for his advanced lung cancer. That request was denied by Chinese National Security that said the care he was getting was adequate.

The head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the peace prize, said the Chinese Government bore a heavy responsibility for his premature death.

His colleague and close friend, retired Professor Ai Xiaoming, said even in death the Chinese authorities feared his voice and would not allow him to go overseas.

Few inside China know of Mr. Liu and Chinese state media has ignored the story of his impending death.

Nicolas Benquelin, the director of the Asian program at Amnesty International said his treatment showed China was still a brutal regime.