A German cancer specialist has been invited to examine Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The terminally ill Nobel laureate had been released from prison two weeks ago on humanitarian grounds.
The German foreign ministry confirmed that a German doctor was currently on site at the hospital in Shenyang that was treating Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo for his advanced liver cancer.
"We hear that his condition has deteriorated rapidly. We are very concerned about that," the source at the foreign ministry said. The hospital in Shenyang confirmed that his condition had worsened considerably in the past few days.
The cancer specialist was the first foreigner to see the 61-year-old dissident, according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, which added that a US doctor had also been invited to examine him. Chinese authorities have, however, rejected his requests to travel overseas for treatment with his wife Liu Xia, who is under house arrest in Beijing.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, meanwhile, called on Chinese authorities to allow a senior UN official to visit him - but so far to no avail.
A Chinese maverick
Liu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer in May. The 61-year-old had been jailed for 11 years in 2009 for "inciting subversion of state power," and remains under strict supervision at the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang. He had been released solely on humanitarian grounds.
Liu is the co-author of a document known as "Charter 08" signed in 2008 by 300 intellectuals, calling for a free, democratic and constitutional state in China. He was previously imprisoned for backing the 1989 democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
ss/jm (dpa, Reuters)