Chinese political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo dies at age 61

An exile Tibetan holds a portrait of the Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo behind bars during a street protest Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Ashwini Bhatia)

Officials say China's most prominent political prisoner, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, has died. He was 61.

Liu had been hospitalized for advanced liver cancer diagnosed in prison in May. The judicial bureau in the northeastern city of Shenyang said Thursday he died of multiple organ failure.

His supporters and foreign governments had urged China to allow him to receive treatment abroad, but Chinese authorities insisted he was receiving the best care possible for a disease that had spread throughout his body.

Liu was imprisoned for the first time in connection with the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 while serving his fourth and final prison sentence, for inciting subversion by advocating sweeping political reforms and greater human rights in China.

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