July 13, 2017 / 5:50 PM / a month ago

EU chiefs urge China to free political prisoners after Xiaobo's death

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union chiefs called on China on Thursday to free political prisoners after the death of Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

In a joint statement, the chair of European Union summits Donald Tusk and head of the EU executive commission Jean-Claude Juncker expressed sadness for the death of Xiaobo.

They stressed that they had on several occasions urged Beijing to allow him to receive medical treatment in Germany.

"We reiterate the European Union's call for all prisoners of conscience in China to be released," they said, calling on the Chinese authorities to allow Xiaobo's family to bury him according to their wishes.

"We call on the authorities to remove all restrictions on the movement and communications of his family members," they added.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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