Concerned about Liu Xiaobo, UN rights office urges access to jailed rights defender

7 July 2017

The United Nations human rights office today expressed great concern about the health of Liu Xiaobo and urged access to the jailed Nobel laureate and his wife, Liu Xia.

“We are very concerned at reports that Liu Xiaobo’s health has seriously deteriorated over the past 24 hours,” a spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Liz Throssell, told reporters in Geneva.

She said OHCHR has been engaging with Chinese authorities about the situation of Mr. Liu and his wife, but has not received further information from the Government for more than 24 hours.

“The welcome request for medical support for Liu Xiaobo should be responded to urgently, and amid these latest reports of the deterioration of his health, we believe the UN should be granted access to both Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia,” Ms. Throssell said.

She added that given the urgency and seriousness of the situation, High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will continue to closely follow developments in the situation.

Mr. Liu was jailed in 2009 after calling for political reforms in China. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

He is reportedly in grave medical condition and has been diagnosed with liver cancer.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

UN disability rights committee opens with a call to spotlight gender issues

The United Nations committee monitoring efforts to protect rights of persons with disabilities today opened its spring session today in Geneva with a call to pay special attention to gender issues.