A Chinese hospital on Thursday posted a written statement under the name of Liu Xiaobo’s brother-in-law, denying an online rumor that said medication had been halted for the jailed Chinese rights activist and Nobel Peace laureate.
In the statement issued by the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, where Liu is being treated, Liu Hui, the brother of Liu’s wife Liu Xia, claimed that doctors did not stop using medication on Liu but only made some adjustments with consent of the family.
Liu Hui said he is very angry with those who spread the rumor that Liu Xiaobo is dying, while he appreciates the medical staff’s efforts, according to the statement.
Liu Xiaobo, 61, a leader in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 on subversion charges for co-writing a manifesto aimed at bringing about a more democratic system in China.
He was found to be suffering from terminal liver cancer in late May and has been released on medical parole by the prison authority. He is reportedly being hospitalized, prompting calls from the international community urging China to release him.
A friend of Liu claimed earlier that Liu was critically ill and his family has been told by doctors to prepare for his death.
However, the Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China quoted Liu’s family as saying on Thursday that he is not at risk of imminent death, suspecting the rumor was aimed to make Western countries dispel the idea of offering medical treatment abroad if Liu was in “critical condition”, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Hu Jia, a Chinese dissident who had been jailed for advocating democracy, said he suspected Liu Hui was used by the authorities as hostage to control Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia, according to hk01.com.
Liu Hui has been living in fear after he was jailed in 2013 for alleged fraud. He is hence obedient to the authorities’ instructions, Hu said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that three liver cancer experts from the United States and Germany have been invited to join the medical team that has been treating Liu.
Dr. Maverick Tsang Wai-kong, a Hong Kong clinical oncologist, said if patients like Liu take targeted therapy drugs and receive chemotherapy, they generally could live for three to six months, Apple Daily reports.
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