Thursday, 3 August 2017

Where is Liu Xia?

An optimistic portrait of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia by Badiucao
Since Liu Xiaobo's funeral on July 15, after which his ashes were scattered at sea, there has apparently been no sighting of his wife Liu Xia.

Her US-based lawyer Jared Genser claims that she is being held in an undisclosed location by the Chinese government.

In a statement to AFP, Genser said: "I demand that Chinese authorities immediately provide proof that Liu Xia is alive and allow her unhindered access to her family, friends, counsel, and the international community."
Liu Xia watches her husband's ashes being scattered at sea

The United States, the UN high commissioner for human rights and Amnesty International have all called on Beijing to free Liu Xia, 56, from house arrest without charge since Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace prize in 2010.

However, Beijing insists she is a free citizen, and that grieving for her husband's death has prevented her from getting in touch with friends or her lawyer.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee is very concerned about Liu Xia's condition, as she suffers from depression due to house arrest and constant surveillance that make it very difficult to have contact with anyone, even family members.

The Nobel Committee has called on the Chinese government to "lift all restrictions they have put upon her", adding: "If she wants to leave China, there is no justification for denying her the opportunity to do so."

In Hong Kong, protesters demand Liu Xia be released
A relative told the media this week that Liu Xia had returned to Beijing, but her whereabouts were unknown.

The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said it was unable to contact her directly.

Activist Hu Jia noted while she may have returned to Beijing, she may not necessarily be at home.

"Her being back in Beijing and back in her apartment are two different things," Hu said. "She might still be locked up or she's been placed with relatives in Beijing upon returning to the city."

Why is Beijing so worried about what Liu Xia will say? Can we not even see if she is OK or not? Liu Xiaobo is in another place. Surely his wife can now live the rest of her days in peace?

Or are they hoping they can some how make her disappear so that we will forget her?

1 comment:

  1. I wish there could have been a "free Liu Xiaobo" campaign along the lines of the "free Nelson Mandela" one back in the 1980s and early 1990s. But it's not too late to start one for Liu Xia...