Chinese Nobel Peace laureate’s widow back in Beijing, in poor health and continued tight restrictions

Liu Xia, wife of late Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiabo. (Photo courtesy: China Digital Times)
Liu Xia, wife of late Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiabo. (Photo courtesy: China Digital Times)

(, Sep04, 2017) – Liu Xia, the widow of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo who died in detention in July, is back in Beijing but still under house arrest despite being not accused of any crime, reported the AFP Sep 3, citing a Hong Kong NGO.

The report cited Lu Siqing, founder of the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, as saying he had spoken to her by phone at her Beijing home on Sep 2. He has added that a tearful Liu, 56, explained in a “very weakened voice” that she was under treatment with strong anti-depressants.

The NGO has said in a separate statement that “her home was kept under surveillance by guards and police dressed in civilian clothes.” She has been under virtual house arrest since 2010 despite being not charged with any crime. She was last shown in public in a government photo in mid-July at her husband’s funeral.

Her husband, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in jail for “subversion” for calling for democratic reforms in China. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. He died on July 13 of liver cancer in a Chinese hospital at the age of 61, after being transferred there from prison.

Her friends and relatives were unable to contact her in the following weeks, being held incommunicado by the Chinese authorities in an unknown location.

Although back home now, there are fears that she would almost certainly have to leave the city again before the 19th Communist Party congress starts on Oct 18.


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