18:20 GMT20 September 2020
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    US Senator Marco Rubio, chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), called on US President Donald Trump to seek opportunities to transfer Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident who called for democratic reforms in the country, to the United States amid concerns over his health and liberty.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The senator expressed concern over limits of Liu's medical parole and condition of his wife Liu Xia, who is being kept under house arrest.

    "I urge President Trump to seek Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo’s immediate humanitarian transfer to the United States," Rubio was quoted as saying in a statement issued on the commission's website on Monday.

    On Monday, Liu's lawyer told Sputnik that the dissident was still under control of the Chinese government and medical parole was just another form of serving one’s prison sentence. The lawyer added that his family members had been allowed to visit him as recently as 10 days ago.

    Liu was tried for "inciting subversion of state power" in 2009, a year after publishing the Charter 08 manifesto calling for overhauling democratic reforms in China. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison. In 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, triggering a massive diplomatic row between China and Norway, which handed out the Nobel award to Liu and honored him with an empty chair during the award ceremony.

    On May 23, Liu showed symptoms of a disease and was then diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer. The dissident was allowed to be transferred out of the prison to receive the necessary treatment in a hospital in northern China’s Shenyang city in Liaoning province, which is about 140 miles away from his prison. His prison term is expected to be completed by 2020.


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