Foreign doctors say Liu Xiaobo could be moved

Liu Xiaobo

"He is personally deciding that Liu Xiaobo will suffer more pain, and that he is refusing to honor the wishes of a dying man to receive the treatment he desires", Genser says.

The doctors acknowledged the quality of care he has received and said they agreed with the diagnosis of primary liver cancer.

The hospital said the experts were Dr Markus W Buchler, of Heidelberg University in Germany, and Dr Joseph Herman, of the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas.

The doctors, who were invited by the hospital at Mr Liu's family's request, found that Mr Liu had excess abdominal fluid and was in serious condition, the hospital said on its website.

Since 2009, China has ignored worldwide calls to free Liu while isolating him.

Beijing has come under fire from human rights groups over its treatment of the activist and for waiting until he became terminally sick to release him from prison more than a month ago.

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Although the Chinese government has so far showed no sign that it would free Liu or allow him to travel overseas, it has acceded to family requests to allow liver cancer experts from Germany, the US and elsewhere to join the Chinese medical team treating Liu.

"While a degree of risk always exists in the movement of any patient, both physicians believe Mr. Liu can be safely transported with appropriate medical evacuation care and support", they said.

The doctors' visit comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Hamburg, Germany, for a G20 summit ending Saturday.

The hospital released details about his treatment this week, disclosing that doctors chose to stop giving him the cancer drug Sorafenib and Chinese medicine to avoid further harming his liver.

On Thursday, Liu's brother-in-law, Liu Hui, denied that doctors had halted medication for him, in a letter released by the hospital, following rumors that the dissident was too ill for treatment to continue.

Hu Jia, a Chinese dissident and family friend, said that Beijing is afraid of letting its most potent opposition symbol go overseas as long as he is able to speak to the media.

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Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based FactWire News Agency reported on Sunday that in a previously unreleased interview in February 2009, Liu's wife Liu Xia said Liu Xiaobo had not thought he would be arrested for drafting Charter 08, a manifesto calling for political reforms in China.

China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Liu would be allowed to leave.

In a sign of the seriousness of Liu's decline, his younger and older brothers and their wives were being allowed to see him, Shang said.

"In this case, Xi Jinping should exercise that power so that Liu Xiaobo can go overseas for treatment".

"All he and his family need now are their passports - as soon as China opens the gate, they can be on their way to true freedom", said Hu Jia, a leading Chinese human rights activist who has known Liu's wife for years and has served prison terms for his own advocacy.

The United Nations human rights office demanded last Friday (July 7) that the UN be given access to Mr Liu, but as world leaders met with their Chinese counterpart in Germany, they remained largely silent on laureate's fate.

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