Chinese political prisoner and Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has been released from jail on medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Mo Shaoping, Liu’s lawyer, said that the human rights campaigner is in the late stages of the disease. He is being treated at a hospital in the north-eastern city of Shenyang, near where he was being held.

Liu was arrested in 2008 after writing a pro-democracy manifesto called Charter 08, where he called for an end to one-party rule in China and improvements in the human rights situation. After detention and a trial that lasted two hours, he was sentenced to 11 years in jail. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, where his presence was represented by an empty chair at the ceremony. The prize infuriated China, which then froze relations with Norway, and restored them only in December 2016.

Meanwhile, Liu’s wife Liu Xia has been under house arrest ever since he won the Peace Prize, and his lawyer said she may not know about his release and hospitalisation. Liu had previously been jailed for two years in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the subsequent massacre.

Liu’s brother-in-law was jailed in 2013 for fraud over a property dispute, but his lawyers said the case was politically motivated, The Guardian reported.

Amnesty International has asked Chinese authorities to ensure adequate medical care for Liu, granting him access to his family and immediate release of Liu and his family members from imprisonment. More than 1,400 political dissidents are detained in China, according to a US congressional database.