Liu cannot be moved elsewhere for treatment

BEIJING: Chinese authorities on Thursday told US, German and European Union diplomats that Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Liu Xiaobo cannot be moved to get medical treatment elsewhere due to his illness, a source briefed on the meeting said.
Liu, 61, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms.
He is being treated in a hospital in the city of Shenyang for late-stage liver cancer after being granted medical parole, his lawyer said on Monday.
A deputy head of the justice ministry told the diplomats that Liu’s family was happy with the treatment he was getting and had agreed he should not be moved, said the source, who declined to be identified.
The diplomats asked that Liu and his wife be allowed to communicate directly with the outside world, choose their own hospital and get treatment from a foreign doctor.
But the Chinese side said that may not be possible, according to the source.
Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, has been under effective house arrest since her husband won the peace prize in 2010 and was not available for comment on Thursday.
Western politicians and rights activists have voiced concern about the quality of Liu’s treatment and have said he should be given the option of leaving China if that is the best option.
On Wednesday, the new US Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, said the United States would like to see Liu treated elsewhere.
Amnesty International said on Tuesday that Liu Xia had told Chinese authorities she wanted her husband to get treatment abroad.
The US Embassy in Beijing on Thursday declined to comment on any briefing from the authorities. A German foreign ministry source also declined to comment and there was no immediate comment from EU officials.
China’s foreign ministry and justice ministry did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
A video of Liu being treated in jail was released on YouTube, which is blocked in China, late on Wednesday, in what a source close to Liu said was a move by authorities to counter growing concern over his care behind bars. Liu is shown in the three-minute video playing badminton outside, being given a physical examination by prison guards and getting treatment from doctors, as well as being visited by his wife.
It was not clear who took the video or published it on YouTube but another source, who is close to Liu and his wife, described it as “propaganda”, and an attempt by the authorities to respond to criticism of Liu’s treatment. — Reuters