China frees Nobel peace laureate’s widow after years of illegal detention

July 12, 2018 1:28 am0 commentsViews: 44
Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel dissident Liu Xiaobo, smiles as she arrives at the Helsinki International Airport in Vantaa, Finland, on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: CNN)

Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel dissident Liu Xiaobo, smiles as she arrives at the Helsinki International Airport in Vantaa, Finland, on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: CNN)

(TibetanReview.net, Jul11, 2018) – After holding her in a form of strict detention for years while all the time calling her “free”, China has finally relented to international pressure by letting Liu Xia, window of the 2010 Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, to board a flight for Germany for medical treatment. She took a Finnair flight from Beijing to Berlin at 11:00 local time (03:00 GMT) on Jul 10, reported bbc.com. It followed a meeting between the visiting German Chancellor Angele Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping the day before.

Liu Xiaobo a university professor turned democracy and human rights campaigner, was jailed in 2009 for inciting subversion. He died of liver cancer last year and his ashes were scattered at sea.

Liu Xia had been under house arrest ever since her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel dissident Liu Xiaobo, smiles as she arrives at the Helsinki International Airport in Vantaa, Finland, on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: CNN)

Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel dissident Liu Xiaobo, smiles as she arrives at the Helsinki International Airport in Vantaa, Finland, on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: CNN)

The 57-year-old poet and artist, who was never been charged with any crime, had said in May this year that she was ready to die in protest at her continued detention in a rarely permitted phone call with her friend Liao Yiwu, who lives in exile in Germany.

“I’ve got nothing to be afraid of,” she was quoted as saying. “If I can’t leave, I’ll die in my home. Xiaobo is gone, and there’s nothing in the world for me now.”

She was reported to be suffering from depression after spending years under heavy surveillance.

Meanwhile, international human rights organization Amnesty International has called for an end to the harassment of Liu Xia’s family who continue to remain in China. “It would be most callous of the Chinese authorities to use Liu Xia’s relatives to put pressure on Liu Xia to prevent her from speaking out in future,” Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International, was quoted as saying.

A brother of Liu was reported to have been denied permission to leave with her, rendering him and other relatives as well, effective hostages to ensure her ‘good behavior’ abroad.

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