The Chinese government had come under fire for refusing to allow Liu to travel overseas for treatment, despite repeated calls from human rights activists, foreign governments, as well as Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, for China to do so.
"Whether it was gross negligence or political murder, they have committed an unprecedented crime as no other government of the world has ever seen a Nobel Peace Prize laureate die in its custody", said Hu Jia, a leading Chinese human rights activist, when Liu first left jail.
He was being treated in a hospital there, having been admitted in June after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer.
In 2009, Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion, after he helped pen a political manifesto urging the Communist regime to initiate democratic reforms.
China's Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo died Thursday after a battle with cancer, remaining in custody until the end as officials ignored global pleas to let him spend his final days free and overseas.
Although China invited two foreign doctors, from Germany and the USA, to help treat Liu, Beijing has dismissed calls by foreign governments for Liu to be treated overseas, calling it meddling in China's internal affairs. The United States also said it was willing to take him in.
Eva Pils, an expert in Chinese law and human rights from King's College London, said that while Beijing bristled at comparisons between Liu and Ossietzky, "in a way, unfortunately, this ending reinforces that comparison - because effectively they have just let him die in their care". Chinese authorities released video footage meant to show that Liu had been receiving good medical care, and they invited US and German doctors to treat him. Now he would like to get medical treatment outside of China, but China is reluctant to let him go. After the brutal crackdown on demonstrators, a friend drove Liu to the front gate of the Australian Embassy and said if he entered, he could seek asylum.
Despite the imprisonment and separation from the wife he adored that could have fuelled anger and bitterness, Mr. Liu declared that he had no hatred for those who pursued and prosecuted him. Hours before it was due to be published, Liu, who had been one of the document's drafters, was detained at his Beijing home. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a year later while in prison. He had played a major role in the Tiananmen protests of June 1989 which ended in bloodshed when they were quashed by the People's Liberation Army soldiers.
Liu, 61, is being treated for worsening liver function, septic shock and organ dysfunction, and remains on dialysis, the hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang said in a short online statement, its latest update. Shortly before Mr. Liu died, the man ultimately responsible for this and so many other abuses in China, President Xi Jinping, was basking in the glamour and glory of worldwide politics at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg.
Liu was born December 28, 1955, in Changchun city, in the northeastern province of Jilin. Another empty chair was for Liu Xia.
The campaign to establish universal human rights also in China is being waged by many Chinese, both in China itself and overseas.
Protesters display portraits of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
"Despite the tragedy that Liu's freedom has come from his death, it is clear today that the Chinese government has lost", Genser said. "The authorities consider Liu Xiaobo guilty, but history will prove he is not".
"But I think the historic message they are leaving is very different".