Notable political prisoner activist reported dead

Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Liu Xiaobo has died at age 61.

Liu, China’s most famous political prisoner, died of multiple organ failure.

Liu, who was jailed in 2008 for supporting democracy in China, is the only Chinese national to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him in 2010 while he was in prison.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu for what the award committee called his “long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights,” which included his hunger strike at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and his insistent calls to end the one-party rule in China.

Foreign news reports about Liu receiving the Nobel honor were blacked out in China, where authorities called the award a “desecration” of the prize.

Liu spent much of the last thirty years in forced confinement — at home, at labor camps or in prison. After being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May, he was released from prison in June to pursue treatment for the disease.

Liu is the latest of a number of Chinese dissidents whose incarcerations ended in serious illness or fatality.

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