Artist says China must release prisoner after foreign doctors cleared him for travel, as ‘this is going to be remembered by the whole world’

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has added his voice to growing calls for China to release its most famous political prisoner, the critically ill Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

Speaking for the first time about the plight of his longtime friend, who was recently diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer while serving an 11-year jail term, Ai urged Beijing to immediately free Liu, who was jailed in 2009 for his role in a pro-democracy manifesto called Charter 08.

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