Liu Xia, wife of late Nobel Peace Prize winner, leaves China

Nobel widow Liu Xia leaves China after 8 years' house arrest

That was the last time she left home as a free woman. However, after eight years under illegal house arrest her health is a cause for genuine concern.

She was never charged with an offence, but was kept guarded and largely isolated for more than seven years in the apartment she once shared with her husband.

On the contrary, "we can see it is getting worse".

“It is wonderful news that Liu Xia is finally free and that her persecution and illegal detention at the hands of the Chinese authorities has come to an end, almost one year since Liu Xiaobos untimely and undignified death.

Liu Xia's brother, Liu Hui, wrote on a social media site: "Sister has already left Beijing for Europe at noon to start her new life".

Photographers caught up with her in Helsinki, where she was in transit, and she grinned widely for the cameras spreading her arms - a stark contrast from the few images of her that have surfaced over the past few years in China.

Johnny Lau, a political commentator in Hong Kong, said he believed the authorities had let Liu Xia go to avoid her case sparking a "surge" of pressure on China around the July 13 anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's death.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets regularly with dissidents during visits to China and had raised Liu Xia's case with Chinese officials, including during a visit in May, people familiar with the matter said.

After the Lunar New Year visit and the promise that she could soon be on a plane, Liu Xia began to despair when nothing had happened by April.

Liu Xia remained under house arrest for eight years.

Liu Xia is an accomplished artist and poet who reluctantly followed her husband into politics two decades ago.

China sentenced Liu Xiaobo in December 2009 to 11 years' imprisonment on charges of inciting subversion of state power after he helped write a manifesto calling for political and economic liberalization.

Liu was awarded the Nobel on October 8, 2010.


Guards ate and slept outside her door, driving away well-wishers, activists, journalists and diplomats - a slow-burning ordeal worse than death, she said in a rare recording that emerged in May.

Exiled dissident Wu'er Kaixi, speaking in Taipei, told AFP he was "glad" Liu Xia could leave China but also voiced concerns about her brother.

A petite woman with a shaved head and glasses, Liu Xia has been seen as "the most important link" between Liu Xiaobo and the outside world.

"It's easier to die than live. Using death to defy could not be any simpler for me".

The news of her release was celebrated by China's beleaguered community of activists, who have been at the centre of an expansive crackdown on civil society, rights lawyers and other independent groups the administration of President Xi Jinping has deemed a threat to the ruling Communist Party's grip on power.

Rights groups and Western nations had been raising pressure on Beijing over Liu Xia in recent months, as fears grew among rights groups that she might never be able to leave and live overseas, a wish she had made clear.

Mr Ye said he was informed of Ms Liu's departure by her older brother.

Officials at the German embassy in Beijing did not confirm the news when contacted by Reuters and referred questions to the German Foreign Office in Berlin. "But we still fear for Liu Hui, who is being kept in the country as a guarantee so that Liu Xia does not speak out overseas". "China hopes to team up with Germany", he said.

"Liu Xia might not be able to speak much for fear of her brother's safety", Mr Poon said.

Liu Xiaobo, a veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, died last year while serving an 11-year jail sentence for "subversion", making him the first Nobel laureate to die in custody since the era of Nazi Germany. She was shown at his closely staged funeral dressed in black and wearing dark sunglasses as she clutched a photograph of her husband.

The Chinese government has confirmed the widow of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has left China for Germany, saying Liu Xia is seeking medical treatment.

Frances Eve, a researcher for Chinese Human Rights Defenders, said Liu Xia's release was likely meant to mute criticism around the anniversary of Liu's death. If I can't leave, I'll just die at home.

He said China's constitution protected human rights.

Related News:

  • Wales appoint Pivac as coach to succeed Gatland

    Wales appoint Pivac as coach to succeed Gatland

    Gatland will have been in charge for 12 years when he steps down in December 2019, making him the longest-serving Wales coach ever.

    Recall of Valsartan containing drugs

    Health Canada says patients taking the drug should check with their pharmacists to learn if their medicine is being recalled. Valsartan is used to treat hypertension and can prevent cardiovascular complications associated with the condition.
    Croatian players' kids delight World Cup fans with post-win scratch match

    Croatian players' kids delight World Cup fans with post-win scratch match

    Ian Broudie and co will treat fans to a live performance of their iconic football anthem before England's World Cup game. The destiny to win the World Cup . "In the changing room, [coach] Didier Deschamps was happy".
  • Man with world's longest fingernails gets them cut after 66 years

    Man with world's longest fingernails gets them cut after 66 years

    The nails, however, eventually became a burden for the 88-year-old man, whose left hand is permanently handicapped. He had chose to grow his nails when he was beaten up by his school teacher for breaking the teacher's long nail.
    Thailand cave rescue will be turned into a Hollywood movie

    Thailand cave rescue will be turned into a Hollywood movie

    Thailand's junta chief told reporters on Tuesday that the group had been given a "minor tranquiliser" to help calm their nerves. That left 20 or so divers scrambling to flee the rising waters, he said, explaining they narrowly made it out time .
    Nurse is suspect for up to 20 deaths in Japan

    Nurse is suspect for up to 20 deaths in Japan

    In December, she eerily told Asahi Shimbun: "I have worked hard to help patients die in peace, so I was shocked by the incidents". Police zeroed in on Kuboki after analyzing hospital worker uniforms, finding that only hers carried traces of the chemical.
  • Erdogan takes on new powers, names son-in-law finance chief

    Erdogan takes on new powers, names son-in-law finance chief

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan poses for photos with the new cabinet members in Ankara , Turkey, on July 9, 2018 . Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been inaugurated as Turkey's first executive president - following snap elections last month.

    John Kerry rips Trump’s 'disgraceful’ North Atlantic Treaty Organisation speech

    The feud over defense spending looks set to overshadow other business at the two-day summit. The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.
    Stormy Daniels arrested at strip club for 'letting patrons touch her'

    Stormy Daniels arrested at strip club for 'letting patrons touch her'

    He said he expected his client to be released on bail and that she would be charged with a misdemeanor for allowing touching. It reeks of desperation, ' he wrote. 'This was a setup and politically motivated. "We will fight all bogus charges".
  • Health leaders stunned as US  delegates oppose breastfeeding resolution

    Health leaders stunned as US delegates oppose breastfeeding resolution

    The U.S. stance on the health issue was enough to draw heated reaction from a number of progressive-leaning websites . The New York Times alleges the USA attempted to browbeat others countries into dropping the resolution.
    Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950

    Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950

    But despite the heartbreak, they and manager Gareth Southgate have reconnected many people with the national team . Croatia have now played in three straight matches that went to extra time.
    Thai soccer team's rescue to be made into a movie

    Thai soccer team's rescue to be made into a movie

    The three Royal Thai Navy SEAL divers and medics who stayed in the cave with the boys and coach since they were located on July 2. So far eight boys aged between 12 and 16 have been led out of the cave system by a team of expert divers over two days.


Most liked

Only 4 Days in, China-US Trade War Escalates
Trump had threatened this level of escalation as early as last week, before the current tariffs even went into effect. Some U.S. business groups and lawmakers from Trump's own Republican Party were critical of the escalating tariffs.

Madden 19 Team Ratings Revealed
Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas all earned the second-best rating on the team with an 88 overall. Let's take a look at five 49ers that could see their Madden 19 rating take a jump in 2018.

Israel plans to launch moon mission on SpaceX rocket this year
With the help of a broad network of volunteers, SpaceIL has already made presentations to about 900,000 children nationwide. The prize would have given $30 million to the team that developed a low-priced method of robotic space exploration.

India vs England Ist ODI Preview
And Wood is aiming to help Eoin Morgan's team reverse their fortunes in the three-match series by adding to Kohli's woes against England .

Rangers sign Lassana Coulibaly on season-long loan from Angers
Mali worldwide Coulibaly, who has been capped 10 times, admits the lure of playing for Gerrard was too good to turn down. I was anxious it wasn't actually Gerrard (on the phone).

Jesus Aguilar, Jean Segura win online vote for final all-star spots
Aguilar beat out Brandon Belt of the San Francisco Giants , Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers , Matt Carpenter of the St. Giancarlo Stanton finished third in the Final Vote among AL players it was announced on Wednesday.

England coming home after semi-final defeat
They find it amusing to routinely give Sterling the lowest mark, when given the chance to rate the England players' performances. Most England fans were gracious in defeat, with one fan saying " Croatia was the better team" on the way out.

London pub renames itself The Trump Arms ahead of presidential visit
Trump will travel by helicopter once there, making it unlikely he'll see protests firsthand. Thousands of people are expected to protest against the president's visit across the UK.

Roy Keane tears into England fans for getting carried away
Get excited when they get to the final man! "We were happy, you weren't happy for us to be happy at that time". Let's hope Wrighty and Keano are sat next to each other on the plane home from Russian Federation .

Charlotte Tells Photographer He's 'Not Coming' To Louis' Christening
Meghan Markle , the Duchess of Sussex, wore an army green Ralph Lauren dress and hat by Stephen Jones . Guests were served slices of fruit cake from a tier of William and Kate's eight-tier wedding cake.

England V. Croatia, Winner Will Play France
The Croats are headed to their first World Cup final ever, if they can just stay on their feet for a few more days. When they said this was an experimental tournament for a young England side, Southgate refused to swallow that.

Release of 5th 'Indiana Jones' movie pushed to 2021
This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information. Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford are both returning for the next Indiana Jones movie.

Live Stream, TV Schedule for Tuesday's Semi-Final Game
And you know why? We played well at the start and in extra time but we missed a few chances to kill them off. As we reflect there will be a lot more positives but tonight it is hard to take.

Execution blocked after company objects to use of its drug
A witness testified Dozier used a sledgehammer to break the victim's limbs so the corpse would fit in a plastic storage container. An hour before the execution Wednesday, death penalty opponents plan to hold a vigil and rally outside the governor's mansion.

Why It's Impossible For Brett Kavanaugh To Make Abortion Illegal
Lois Frankel , D-Fla., brought a hanger to pen and pad talking about Kavanaugh's nomination to Supreme Court. Wade would be overturned " automatically " if he appointed anti-abortion rights justices to the court.