Fri, Jun 30, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Video shows Liu’s treatment in prison

HIDDEN CAMERA:The video ostensibly shows Liu Xiaobo receiving medical treatment and absolving the authorities from responsibility for his disease while talking to his wife

Reuters, BEIJING

A video of Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) being treated well in jail was released on YouTube late on Wednesday, in what a source close to the Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist said was a move by authorities to counter growing concerns over his care behind bars.

Liu, 61, was jailed in 2009 for 11 years 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 northern Chinese city of Shenyang for late-stage liver cancer after being granted medical parole, his lawyer said on Monday.

Liu is shown in the three-minute video playing badminton outside, being given a physical exam by prison guards and receiving treatment from doctors, as well as being visited by his wife, Liu Xia (劉霞).

In one clip, Liu Xiaobo speaks to Liu Xia by telephone as she sits behind glass in a visiting room.

“I had a physical exam, they took blood, did color Doppler imaging — it’s very good,” he says.

A doctor asks Liu Xiaobo in another clip when he first knew he had tested positive for hepatitis B surface antigens, a test used to show if a patient suffers from hepatitis B virus, and he replies: “Over 20 years ago.”

It was unclear when the scenes were filmed.

The Prison Management Bureau in Liaoning Province, where Liu Xiaobo was jailed, could not be reached after office hours on Wednesday.

The Shenyang legal bureau on Wednesday said in a statement on its Web site that signs Liu Xiaobo was unwell had been detected on May 31 and that he was immediately sent to the hospital where he was being treated by eight well-known domestic cancer experts, and that the cancer had spread to the rest of his body.

Several family members who are with Liu Xiaobo in Shenyang — including his wife — have “expressed satisfaction” with his treatment and have also asked he be treated with traditional Chinese medicine, which is now happening, the statement said.

Liu Xiaobo had a history of hepatitis B before entering jail, it said, citing prison records, adding that he had received regular medical checks while in prison that had not previously found signs of hepatitis or tumors.

The video was posted on YouTube by a user who had previously posted clips denouncing Guo Wengui (郭文貴), a controversial property tycoon who has made claims of high-level corruption within the Chinese Communist Party.

When asked about the video, a source close to Liu Xiaobo and his wife said that his statements in the film are “quotes without context,” and added that all the shots appeared to be taken with hidden cameras.

“They filmed this so they could create a propaganda clip,” the source said. “Maybe it was originally filmed to show their bosses; now it is being used to reply to critics of the Chinese government who say they did not do enough to stop Liu Xiaobo contracting advanced liver cancer.”

Western politicians and rights campaigners have voiced concern about the quality of his treatment.

The state-run Global Times yesterday said in an editorial that it was ridiculous to suggest that China wanted to “murder” Liu Xiaobo.

“Liu [Xiaobo] is an ordinary prisoner. He ought to be grateful for extra help from the prison authorities, but he and his supporters have no right to demand preferential treatment,” it said.

US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad on Wednesday said the US would like to see Liu Xiaobo treated elsewhere.

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