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American writers, artists urge President Xi to free Liu Xia ahead of Trump visit

Liu Xia, widow of late Nobel peace laureate and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo. (Photo courtesy: voiceproject.org)
Liu Xia, widow of late Nobel peace laureate and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo. (Photo courtesy: voiceproject.org)

(TibetanReview.net, Nov05, 2017) – Ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to China on Nov 8, more than 50 writers, artists and supporters of PEN America have urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to end all restrictions and surveillance imposed on Liu Xia, widow of late Nobel peace laureate and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo, reported the Mandarin Service of Radio Free Asia (Washington) Nov 3.

“We ask you to remove all remaining restrictions on Liu Xia, including over her freedom of movement, and to permit her to meet and speak freely with others including her family, friends, and members of the media,” they were quoted as having written in an open letter to Xi.

Noting that the only apparent reason for her long detention was her connection to Liu Xiaobo, the letter was quoted as saying, “As a result of her years of enforced solitude, Liu Xia is reported to be in poor physical and mental health, including a diagnosis of depression and a heart condition.”

Those who had signed the letter were reported to include well-known authors, including Chimamanda Achibie, Margaret Atwood, and Khaled Hosseini. Composer Stephen Sondheim, philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, and satirist Jules Feiffer were also stated to be among the signatories.

Liu Xia was last seen in official photographs on Jul 15 at the sea burial of her husband’s ashes, but has been incommunicado since then, with a security guard hanging around her Beijing home. “She has committed no crime, and she has not been charged with any crime,” the letter was quoted as saying.

The report also cited PEN America executive director Suzanne Nossel as calling on President Trump to voice concern over the plight of Liu Xia during his meetings with Chinese leaders in Beijing.

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