Liu Xiaobo, Chinese Dissident Who Won Nobel While Jailed, Dies at 61 – New York Times
The police in China have kept Mr. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, under house arrest and smothering surveillance, preventing her from speaking out about Mr. Liu’s belated treatment for cancer.
“Can’t operate, can’t do radiotherapy, can’t do chemotherapy,” Ms. Liu said in a brief video message to a friend when her husband’s fatal condition was announced. The message quickly spread online.
Mr. Liu’s illness elicited a deluge of sympathy from friends, Chinese rights activists and international groups, who saw him as a fearless advocate of peaceful democratic change.
“The reaction to his illness shows how much he was respected,” said Cui Weiping, a former professor of literature in Beijing who knew Mr. Liu and now lives in Los Angeles. “People from all walks of life — friends, strangers, young people — have been outraged to hear that someone with terminal cancer was kept locked up till he died.”
Mr. Liu was arrested most recently in 2008, after he helped initiate Charter 08, a bold petition calling for democracy, the rule of law and an end to censorship.
A year later, a court in Beijing tried and convicted Mr. Liu on a charge of inciting subversion. The petition and essays he wrote in which he upbraided and mocked the Chinese government were cited in the verdict. Mr. Liu responded to his trial with a warning about China’s future.
“Hatred can rot a person’s wisdom and conscience,” Mr. Liu said in a statement he prepared for the trial. “An enemy mentality will poison the spirit of a nation and inflame brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and hinder a country’s advance toward freedom and democracy.”