Liu wants wife to get Nobel

2010-10-12 22:38

Paris - The wife of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo said on Tuesday that he had asked her to travel to Norway in his stead to receive his Nobel Peace Prize, while admitting that this would be "complicated".

Liu's award was announced on Friday, to the fury of Beijing's communist government, which regards his battle for democratic reforms in China as sedition and has protested the Norwegian jury's decision.

Asked by the French news website Mediapart by telephone whether she wants to attend the prize ceremony, Liu's wife Liu Xia, said: "Yes, it's very important and Liu Xiaobo wants absolutely that I attend.

"I also want to go, but it's complicated. I have a passport, but I am not allowed to leave my own house.

"And if I manage to fly to Norway, would they let me return to China?" she said, according to Mediapart's French translation.

"Whatever's going on, for now the Chinese authorities have not issued me with any warning regarding the ceremony," she said.

The 54-year-old Liu, a one-time university professor, was jailed in December 2009 for 11 years for subversion, a conviction that sparked international outrage and drew attention to his campaign for democratic rights.

Since the award, Liu Xia has been able to visit him, but she says she has now herself been placed under effective house arrest.