NEW YORK–In response to the statement from Western medical experts that it is safe to transport Liu Xiaobo abroad for cancer treatment, PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel released the following statement:

“With Western doctors now saying that Liu Xiaobo could safely travel and potentially benefit from‎ treatments overseas, the Chinese government’s morality and humanity are being tested. Their decision on whether to free him to seek treatment as he chooses will show whether the invitations to foreign doctors were meant simply for show–to legitimize China’s treatment of him–or were genuinely intended to advance his treatment. There can be no more powerful indicator of Beijing’s respect for human dignity than their treatment of Liu Xiaobo in this time of need. We call on the Chinese government to immediately allow Liu Xiaobo to seek the treatment he needs, wherever he chooses.”

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director: snossel@pen.org, +1 646.779.4811
 ;                 James Tager, Free Expression Programs Manager: jtager@pen.org, +1 858.472.1471