Wife of Chinese Nobel winner detained

2010-10-10 20:59

Washington - The wife of the Chinese activist Lu Xiaobo, who won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, is being detained in her Beijing home, the spokesperson for a US based rights group said on Sunday.

"She is currently under de facto house arrest back in her apartment in Beijing," said Beth Schwanke, legislative counsel for the US-based group Freedom Now, speaking about Lu's wife Lu Xia.

Schwanke told AFP that after it was announced on Friday that her husband had received the prestigious award, Liu's phone was taken away and she was informed that she would be detained.

"They told her she would be taken to the prison where he husband is being held," said Schwanke.

A second group, Human Rights in China, announced on Sunday that it also had received word of Liu Xia's arrest and said in a statement that it "strongly urges the international community to press the Chinese authorities to immediately release Liu Xia from house arrest, free Liu Xiaobo, and free all prisoners of conscience incarcerated as a result of exercising their right of freedom of expression".

Liu, the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Peace Prize, is a 54-year-old writer imprisoned since December after authoring Charter 08, a manifesto signed by thousands seeking greater rights in the communist nation.