Inside Story

How scared is China’s government of political dissent?

China’s most prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer but many hold the Chinese government responsible.

Liu Xiaobo was banned from making speeches, barred from publishing his writings, locked up and left to die in state custody.

The body of China’s most prominent dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner was cremated in a private ceremony and his ashes scattered at sea.

He died on Thursday after suffering from liver cancer while serving an 11-year prison sentence because of his calls for peaceful democratic reforms.

Tributes have poured in from all over the world but there is little mention of him in his own country.

And there are concerns for his wife. Liu Xia was allowed to attend her husband’s funeral. But she is unwell after being under house arrest since he became a Nobel laureate seven years ago.

Liu was the first to die in state custody since 1938.

What does his loss mean for China’s democracy movement?

Presenter: Richelle Carey


Einar Tangen – International politics and economics commentator

Andreas Fulda – Assistant professor at the University of Nottingham

William Nee – Researcher at Amnesty International

Berit Reiss Andersen – Head of the Norwegian Nobel committee