Outrage at video of ailing Chinese Nobel laureate

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The Chinese hospital charged with treating Liu Xiaobo has announced that the ailing Nobel laureate's health is now failing, indicating that China's most famous jailed dissident may not have long left to live.

The hospital said in a short statement that Liu was being "actively rescued" and was suffering from septic shock, an infection in his abdominal cavity and was on dialysis.

Liu was hospitalised at the beginning of June after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer following nearly nine years in prison.

Liu's supporters have drawn parallels with the history of Carl von Ossietzky, an activist who received the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize while he was held in a German prison camp and ultimately died from tuberculosis under the watch of secret police.

His most recent conviction, on Christmas Day 2009, stemmed from his co-authorship of Charter 08, a manifesto calling for political reform and human rights in China.

Ms Nauert added that Washington is anxious not only about the welfare of Mr Liu, 61, but of other dissidents held by China. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a year later while serving his sentence.

Asked about Germany's statement, the foreign ministry on Tuesday said it did not know anything about the issues raised, reiterating its position that countries should not interfere in China's internal affairs.

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However, Liu's family has declined the use of intubation machinery to help him breathe with the aid of a plastic tube in his windpipe, the hospital said.

In 2010, while in prison, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China" - prompting an infuriated Beijing to place his wife under house arrest and freeze diplomatic ties with Norway, where the prize victor is chosen.

It added that Liu had a history of hepatitis B before imprisonment and prison authorities had provided him with an annual physical examination as well as monthly checkups, and no abnormal conditions had been found before the recent diagnosis.

As China's government faces mounting global pressure to grant Liu his wish to leave the country for treatment, information control is a familiar strategy.

Washington on Tuesday (July 11) invited cancer-stricken Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo to come to the United States for medical treatment, renewing its call for Beijing to free him.

Videos later appeared on YouTube, which is blocked in China, showing the German doctor seeming to praise China's care and saying that Liu could not receive better care in Germany.

The scene was denounced as propaganda by rights groups while the German embassy said Monday it "seems that security organs are steering the process, not medical experts".

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