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LATEST: Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo dies, Chinese government says

Fellow activist Wuer said: "We now have another date to remember devastation, fury, disgust, despair - and freedom, dreams and hope for China."

"I feel like this regime has imprisoned him until the last second," Mo said. "They didn't give him one second to enjoy meeting with friends and receiving basic human caring."

Liu was the co-author of Charter '08, a document signed in 2008 by 300 intellectuals, calling for a free, democratic and constitutional Chinese state.

He also spoke in defense of members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, and urged Beijing to hold talks with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader.

Through his decades-long activism, Liu has become a symbol of Chinese liberalism, values and democratization, friend and activist Hu Jia told dpa a few hours before Liu's death was announced.

"The Communist Party has made him unconscious, a dying man," Hu said. "At the very end of a man's life, they wouldn't allow him to have a voice."

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