A video of foreign doctors at Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo’s bedside has emerged, as calls for him to be allowed to travel abroad continue.
American oncology expert Joseph Herman from the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center and German doctor Markus Buchler of Heidelberg University visited Liu on Saturday at the First Hospital of China Medical University in the northeastern city of Shenyang.
Liu was recently revealed to be suffering from late-stage liver cancer while serving an 11-year sentence for “subversion” after he co-wrote the pro-democracy manifesto Charter ’08.
“And it is very good that the doctors from China have asked us to come and to help, so they are very committed to the treatment of your man, of your husband,” Dr. Buchler is heard telling Liu’s wife, the poet Liu Xia.
He then addresses his Chinese counterparts and apparently tries to console her: “Is she understanding English? Now, otherwise I would translate this, because we have the impression that you really do your very best to help the patient.”
The 57-second video was released on the YouTube account of Kaiwind.com, an anti-Falun Gong site, on Sunday evening.
The hospital said in a statement on Sunday evening that Liu was not eating well and the build-up of fluid in his abdomen was increasing.
It also released a statement on Saturday which quoted a Chinese expert as saying “The process to transport the patient is unsafe – do you have any better methods of treatment?”
The American and German doctors replied: “We don’t have any better methods – you have already done very well.”
Another video, 31 seconds long, appeared to show the exchange. It was released on the YouTube account “China against cults” on Sunday evening. It showed a meeting with the German doctor appearing to say, after a jump cut: “I don’t think we can do better than you in Germany, maybe, but I can speak for Germany. I don’t think we can do better medically than you do, you do very well.”
The propaganda campaign continues: Edited footage of foreign doctors visit to Liu Xiaobo appears on Youtube. https://t.co/o48nTHwtDt
— Nicholas Bequelin 林偉 (@bequelin) July 9, 2017
On Sunday the two US and German medical experts said that it was safe to transport Liu abroad for treatment, contradicting the hospital’s earlier statement that it was unsafe for him to travel in his condition.
“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,” Herman and Buchler said in a joint statement.
“However, the medical evacuation would have to take place as quickly as possible,” they added.
When contacted by RTHK, the leader of the Chinese team of doctors treating Liu, Mao Yilei, said he “did not know” if it was unsafe to transfer Liu.
The experts’ joint statement renewed calls for Liu to be allowed to travel.
The “Save Liu Xiaobo” concern group, a group of volunteers concerned with Liu’s condition said that the doctors’ statement “conclusively rebutted the official propaganda that it is unsafe for Liu Xiaobo to be transported overseas.”
It called for the Chinese government to follow the two experts’ opinion and quickly arrange for Liu, his wife and their family members to leave the country in “the spirit of humanitarianism.”
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China is organising a relay sit-in calling for Liu to be allowed to go abroad.
The sit-in will begin at 6pm on Monday outside the China Liaison Office in the Western district. The Alliance says it welcomes organisations and Hong Kong residents to join in, and the protest will last until Liu Xiaobo can leave the country for treatment with his family.