China on Thursday resisted fresh international pleas to let cancer-stricken Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo seek treatment abroad after the latest hospital updates suggested the democracy champion was close to death, Al Jazeera report.
The United States and Germany voiced concerns over the 61-year-old writer, who remains in custody at a heavily guarded hospital in northeastern China, where doctors say his breathing and organs were failing.
In response, Chinese ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated the government’s standard line: “We hope relevant countries can respect the judicial sovereignty of China and refrain from interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of an individual case.”
In a statement Wednesday, the First Hospital of China Medical University said Liu needed artificial ventilation to stay alive, but his family declined.
Human rights groups have decried the lack of independent reports about Liu’s health, accusing the authorities of manipulating information as the hospital’s website has been the only source of medical updates.
US officials want Chinese authorities to allow Liu Xiaobo and his family the freedom to choose his medical care.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said from Washington: “We remain concerned that both Mr Liu and his family are unable to communicate with the outside world and that he is not free to seek the medical treatment of his choosing.”
Liu was diagnosed with liver cancer in May while serving an 11-year sentence for inciting subversion after he helped to write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for basic human rights and sweeping political reforms.
He was convicted in 2009 of inciting subversion for calling for political reform and was awarded the Nobel a year later while serving his sentence.
Sanders urged China to grant him full parole and release his wife from house arrest.