By Tenzin Monlam
Liu Xiaobo being fed by wife Liu Xia at a hospital Shenyang of Liaoning Province/file
DHARAMSHALA, July 4: Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo, currently being treated at a hospital in Shenyang of Liaoning Province, and his wife Liu Xia have expressed wish to travel outside China for treatment, a source close to the family told Radio Free Asia.
Contrary to the claims made by Chinese authorities of him being happy about the treatment he is getting in China, Beijing Film Academy professor Hao Jian said, “Their wish all along has definitely been to seek medical treatment overseas at the earliest possible opportunity. They desire to go overseas is their own affair, but all of the statements made by officials to date have glossed over this point.”
He also protested that the authorities are not allowing the couple to speak their minds to the outside world as government officials have managed all the communication.
The Chinese officials have also claimed that he is not healthy enough to travel abroad for any treatments. However, a family member of the Chinese activist have told Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights & Democracy that he is ‘well enough to travel abroad’.
“He is regaining his physical abilities and is able to walk,” said the family member on condition of anonymity.
The 61-year-old activist was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in 2009 for ‘inciting subversion of state power’ following his involvement in drafting a petition known as ‘Charter 08’, which calls for political reforms in China.
Liu was released on medical parole on June 26 to receive treatment for liver cancer, which is said to be in its late-stage. According to the family member, Liu’s tumor is about 10 by 11 cms in size, and has spread to the bone in several places.
International NGOs, rights groups, politicians, leaders and 154 Nobel Laureates have urged the Chinese government and Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia to travel to the US for medical treatment.