Rep. Smith: Beijing is responsible for human rights activist's death

Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo in a hospital bed in July 2017

Another friend, Zhang Huanping, said she had also not heard from her. "Xiami, your pain, persecution, loneliness and helplessness go without saying", Zhang tweeted, referring to Liu Xia by her nickname.

Cruz said only one man, President Xi Jinping, was preventing Liu and his wife from coming to America to live out his remaining days, as was their wish. Liu Xia has been on House arrest since 2010.

Citing a government source, state-run China News Service said Liu Xia was "in fact a free woman who just doesn't want to be disturbed". A German and an American doctor visited him last weekend, and Berlin had urged Beijing to allow him to leave for treatment overseas - possibly in Germany. How can a regime treat a person like Liu Xiaobo like this?

The Nobel Committee said Thursday the government "bears a heavy responsibility for his premature death".

For those who wonder if the world could've done more to help Liu in life, there is one final opportunity to celebrate his aspirations for freedom.

"China is a country under the rule of law".

Communist Party's mouthpiece Global Times, reporting statements from the bureau of justice of Shenyang, announced on Thursday night that 'the cancer patient Liu Xiaobo has died from organ failure, despite emergency efforts'. His widow remains under house arrest.

In a sign of China's growing confidence, the state-controlled Global Times newspaper said in an English-language editorial that "the West has bestowed upon Liu a halo, which will not linger". He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the following year. "Now that he is gone the world will never know", lamented Yang Jianli, who participated in the demonstrations for democracy in Tiananmen Square and also served five years in prison in China.

Commentator Jan Arild Snoen accused Solberg of "choosing salmon sales (to China)" over Liu.

His books have been published in Germany, Japan, the United States, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Foreign news reports about the Nobel honour were blacked out in China, where authorities called the award a "desecration" of the prize.

"Since Liu's medical parole was made public, the Chinese side has been focusing on Liu's treatment, but some Western forces are always attempting to steer the issue in a political direction, hyping the treatment as a "human right" issue", it said.

Worldwide human rights groups, Western governments and Chinese activists had urged authorities to free Liu and grant his final wish to be treated overseas. The government would not allow Xiaobo to seek medical treatment outside of China.

The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "deeply saddened" to learn of the death of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiabo.

These demands could get the Guangzhou resident in trouble but she said it was a way to honour Mr Liu's memory.

Liu, who had spent more than a decade behind bars in China for his advocacy of political reform, including taking part in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, was serving a 11- year prison term for "subversion" when he was diagnosed with late stage liver cancer in May this year. "Judging from his writings and speech, what he had illustrated is more of a social idealism of humanities", said Zhang Lifan, a prominent Chinese historian. "He was and will continue to be an inspiration and an example for all human rights defenders".

A Chinese official said the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010 was "blasphemy".

"Let's not make any prejudgements here", he responded, when pressed on whether Liu Xia was allowed to leave the country.

The UN human rights commissioner, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said Liu "was jailed for standing up for his beliefs".

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