China’s Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo died on Thursday aged 61 after losing a battle with cancer, authorities said, more than a month after he was transferred to a hospital from prison.
The legal bureau in the northeastern city of Shenyang, where he had been hospitalised, confirmed his death in a statement.
On July 10, The First Hospital of China Medical University, where he was being treated, had said that the Nobel laureate was in a critical condition, raising fears about his life after Western doctors said there was time to take him abroad.
Human rights activists however, had termed the hospital statement as a delay tactic to prevent Liu from getting his wish of going abroad, where they said he would be free to speak out.
Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize for championing reform and human rights in 2010. He was jailed for 11 years by the Chinese government for subversion in 2009.
Announcing his award, Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland had said that the writer and university professor was honoured “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”.