China's censors raced today to scrub social media networks of candles, RIP and other tributes to Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo as they seek to silence discussion about the prominent dissident's death.
On July 13, Liu Xiaobo, China's most outspoken dissident, died of liver cancer after receiving medical parole from a jail sentence awarded in 2008.
The foreign ministry spokesman said he would "not make prejudgements" about whether Liu Xia could go overseas and that China always handles the entry and departure of its citizens "in accordance with the law".
Yet, with President Donald Trump in office and with a global outpouring of grief over Liu's death, the move could gain bipartisan support.
The following officials must also held responsible for mistreating Liu Xiaobo and denying him medical care: Chen Qiufa, the governor of Liaoning province; Li Xi, the secretary of the Liaoning provincial committee of the Communist Party; Ma Zhenfeng, the former director of Jinzhou prison, in Liaoning province, where Liu Xiaobo, was held; and Wang Zhansuo, his successor. Xia was sentenced to house arrest since 2009, after Xiaobo was jailed for co-writing the Charter 08, a document propagating political transformation in China.
"We urge China to remove all restrictions on the movement of his wife Ms Liu Xia". However, the paper defended China, stating that the country was focused on the treatment of Xiaobo's and some western forces were attempting to steer the issue in a political direction by hyping the treatment as a "human rights" issue.
Liu's main doctor said he was able to say goodbye to his wife and in his final moments told her to "live well".
It said Liu's family has refused the tracheostomy.
"I didn't have a chance/ to say a word before you became/ a character in the news, / everyone looking up to you/ as I was worn down/ at the edge of the crowd", Liu Xia once wrote in a poem to her husband.
RSF accuses firstly Hu Jintao, who was president when Liu Xiaobo was arrested and tried, and his successor, the current president, Xi Jinping, a predator of press freedom.
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.
As he lay in a heavily guarded hospital ward, Beijing declined offers by Germany, the United States and Taiwan to host him, citing his deteriorating condition and denouncing the proposals as interference in China's internal affairs. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, recalling Xiaobo as a nobel laureate would be degrading the coveted award granted to activists for their excellence in public life. "He cried. He felt it was hard to deal with", she said.
But the government had warned repeatedly against interference and said Liu was being treated by renowned Chinese cancer experts.
In mainland China, worldwide reports on Liu Xiaobo's death have been censored, and local media have carried virtually no reports apart from sparse coverage in English, correspondents say.
Liu Yanzi, a Chinese writer in Osaka who translated Liu's poems and essays into Japanese, said she was devastated.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was saddened by the news, acknowledging his "long and non-violent struggle" for fundamental human rights in China.
In Paris on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron and his United States counterpart Donald Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping at a joint press conference, before later issuing statements paying tribute to Liu.
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