Tuesday 18 September, 2018

Questions raised about Liu Xiaobo's prison medical treatment

In this Dec. 5, 2010 file photo, a police officer stands guard beside a picture of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo outside the Chinese government liaison office in Hong Kong. Jailed Chinese Nobel peace laureate Liu has been released on medical parole after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer, his lawyer said Monday, June 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

In this Dec. 5, 2010 file photo, a police officer stands guard beside a picture of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo outside the Chinese government liaison office in Hong Kong. Jailed Chinese Nobel peace laureate Liu has been released on medical parole after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer, his lawyer said Monday, June 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

As recently as February, Liu Xiaobo's brother dismissed reports that the Nobel Peace laureate might be ill in prison. Then came the bombshell Monday that Liu has been diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer and released on medical parole.

A brief video has also emerged of Liu's wife tearfully telling a friend that no treatment — surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy — would work for Liu at this point.

The news has shocked and angered Liu's supporters and human rights advocates, who are questioning if China's best-known political prisoner received inadequate care while incarcerated, or whether the authoritarian government deliberately allowed the 61-year-old to wither in prison.

Police cars could be seen Tuesday parked outside the hospital in the northern city of Shenyang where Liu was reportedly being treated.