Nobel winner's wife still shut in

2010-10-11 16:09
Beijing - The wife of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo remained under house arrest on Monday after Liu reportedly dedicated the prize to the "Tiananmen martyrs" of China's 1989 democracy movement.

Plainclothes security officers were stationed at the front and rear entrances of the couple's housing compound in western Beijing's Yuyuetan Road.

At the rear entrance, which is closest to Liu Xiaobo's apartment, a security officer challenged a reporter for the German Press Agency "Hey! What are you doing? Do you live here or are you looking for someone?" he said.

"Go away! Don't take any photos," he responded when told the reporter's identity.

The police have confined Liu Xia to her apartment since she returned late on Sunday from the north-eastern city of Jinzhou, where Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion.

EU official refused entry

The police also prevented a European Union official from entering the compound on Monday to deliver a congratulatory message from European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

"I have been asked by Barroso's office to convey his message to his (Liu Xiaobo's) family," the official told dpa.

"There was no reason given" for the refusal of entry to the apartment, he said.

On Friday, Barroso said awarding the prize to Liu Xiaobo sent "a strong message of support to all those around the world who, sometimes with great personal sacrifice, are struggling for freedom and human rights".

Twitter

Liu Xia's phone remained switched off on Monday. She was allowed to use Twitter but did not post any new messages.

Late on Sunday via Twitter, Liu Xia said she had met Liu Xiaobo at the Jinzhou prison on Saturday.

The Washington-based human rights group Freedom Now said Liu Xiaobo had cried when he met his wife and had said the prize was "for the Tiananmen martyrs".

Liu Xiaobo was apparently referring to democracy protestors who suffered death, injury or imprisonment during or after the 1989 democracy movement, which ended after a brutal military crackdown in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

China has reacted angrily to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo and state media have reported little more than the Foreign Ministry's rejection of the award as "serious disrespect" of the prize.

Liu Xiaobo, a prominent writer and one of China's leading dissidents, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in December for subversion after being arrested in December 2008 for his part in writing the Charter '08 for democratic reform.

- SAPA
Read more on:    liu xia  |  liu xiaobo  |  china  |  nobel peace prize
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