China frees widow of Nobel laureate
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 7/10/18, 10:52 am
China on Tuesday allowed Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, to leave the country for Germany after spending eight years under house arrest. Her brother Liu Hui confirmed on social media that she left for Europe around midday. “Thanks to everyone who has helped and cared for her these few years,” he said. “I hope from now on her life is peaceful and happy.” Veteran journalist Gao Yu and Wu Yangwei—friends of Liu Xia—said she boarded a Finnair flight that left for Berlin. Her departure comes just days before the one-year anniversary of the death of her husband, who died in a hospital while serving a prison sentence for subversion.
Chinese authorities placed Liu Xia under house arrest in 2010 after Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize. She never faced any charges. Activists and several of Liu Xia’s friends repeatedly called for her release to allow her to receive medical help for severe depression. In May, Germany offered to host Liu after Chinese writer Liao Yiwu released a recording of a phone conversation in which Liu cried and implied she had no hope left of ever leaving China.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.