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Widow of Chinese Nobel Liu Xiaobo “back” to Beijing after his “disappearance”

Ⓒ Shenyang Municipal Information Office/AFP/Archives – STR – | Liu Xia, widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, prays that her husband’s ashes are scattered at sea on July 15, 2017 off the Dalian city of China. Photograph provided by the Shenyang Press Office.

Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo who died in July, is “back in Beijing” but still under house arrest, a Hong Kong NGO said after more than a month of “disappearance” poetess was kept incommunicado by the authorities, according to his lawyer.

Lu Siqing, the founder of the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, spoke to Liu Xia on his phone with Liu Xia and his Beijing home on Saturday. AFP.

During this half-hour conversation dominated by the “tears”, Ms. Liu, 56, explained in a “very weakened voice” having to follow heavy antidepressant treatments, reports Lu Siqing.

“Various friends of Liu Xia confirmed that she was back in her apartment” in the Chinese capital, “and that her home was kept under surveillance by guards and policemen dressed in civilian clothes,” the NGO said in a separate statement .

Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest since 2010 and has not been charged against her, was in mid-July at her husband’s funeral, died of liver cancer, according to images broadcast by the communist authorities.

But her relatives were unable to come into contact with her in the following weeks, ignoring even the place where she resided.

Liu Xia “is held incommunicado by the Chinese authorities in an unknown location,” said the couple’s lawyer Jared Genser in a complaint filed with the UN.

In this context, a video message posted online in mid-August, in which Liu Xia said he needed time to “readjust”, had been greeted with caution. “It is certain that she was forced by the authorities to make this video,” judged Hu Jia, Chinese dissident and friend of the couple.

Little details were given by Lu Siqing about the exact circumstances of Liu Xia’s return to Beijing.

Ms. Liu, on the other hand, was unable to obtain the funeral urn that contained her husband’s ashes after they were scattered at sea, the Hong Kong activist said.

Liu Xiaobo died on July 13 at the age of 61 in a Chinese hospital, a few weeks after being placed on parole for health reasons. He was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in prison for “subversion” for calling for democratic reforms in China – a fight rewarded in 2010 by the Nobel Peace Prize.

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