Liu Xia has lived under house arrest since 2010, when her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize
May 3, 2018 · 3 min read

The widow of Liu Xiaobo, China’s only Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said that she is prepared to die in order to protest the house arrest that she has been held under for the past eight years.

“Now, I’ve got nothing to be afraid of. If I can’t leave, I’ll die in my home. Xiaobo is gone, and there’s nothing in the world for me now. It’s easier to die than live. Using death to defy could not be any simpler for me,” Chinese dissident Liao Yiwu quotes Liu Xia as saying during a recent tearful phone call in which Liao tried to urge his friend to apply again to leave China.

Speaking with the exiled writer who now lives in Germany, Liu sounded as if she had lost all hope: “I’m so fucking angry that I’m ready to die here… If I’m dead, it’ll all be done with…. It’s obvious that I don’t have all the ways and means in hand.”

Despite never being charged with a crime, Liu Xia, 57, has lived under house arrest since 2010, when her husband was awarded the Nobel prize for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Liu Xiaobo could not attend the ceremony in Oslo, already being jailed on charges of “subverting state power.”

Last year, he became the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody since Carl von Ossietsky in Nazi Germany. Passing away from terminal liver cancer in a Shenyang hospital, not far from the prison where he had spent much of the past decade.

Doctors said that Liu’s last words were to his wife, telling her to “live on well.”

Following Liu Xiaobo’s death, there was some renewed hope that China might allow his widow to leave the country. However, her friends and colleagues say that she continues to remain under constant surveillance and effective home arrest, causing her to fall into depression.

Over the years, China has repeatedly dismissed calls from advocacy groups and foreign governments to give Liu Xia her freedom, insisting that, in accordance with Chinese law, she is already a free citizen. To explain why she has been so out of touch, China claims that she is still mourning the death of her husband, and therefore doesn’t want any visitors.


China in bite-sized portions

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China in bite-sized portions.


China in bite-sized portions

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