- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 13, 2017

President Trump was “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and prominent Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the White House said Thursday.

“The president’s heartfelt condolences go out to Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, and his family and friends,” said press secretary Sean Spicer. “A poet, scholar, and courageous advocate, Liu Xiaobo dedicated his life to the pursuit of democracy and liberty.”

The statement from the White House referred to Mr. Liu as a “political prisoner.”

Mr. Liu, who was China’s most prominent human rights and democracy advocate, died Thursday at age 61 from liver cancer. He had been serving an 11-year prison term for “subversion.”

Just a day before Mr. Liu died, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had called on China to release him from custody so he could see his family and pursue the medical care of his choosing.

“We continue to call on the Chinese authorities to grant him full parole and to release his wife from house arrest and provide them the protections and freedoms, such as freedom of movement and access to appropriate medical care consistent with Chinese constitution, legal system, and international commitments,” she said at the time.

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