Liu Xia, artist, poet, and human rights defender, has been forced to stay at home under heavy surveillance and subjected to intimidation by the Chinese authorities, ever since her late husband Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
Her crime? She refused to stop trying to release her wrongfully imprisoned husband.
Especially now that her husband has passed, it’s time the Chinese authorities stop cruelly punishing Liu Xia.
She has been kept in isolation since October 2010, and she has suffered from psychological stress, anxiety and depression as a result.
Her husband, Liu Xiaobo, helped devise a call for political reform in China, known as Charter 08. All he did was exercise his human rights: but as a result, he was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power”. He was recognized by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience. He was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May and despite repeated requests from Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia, the Chinese authorities refused to let them travel abroad for treatment.
Although Liu Xiaobo has passed away on 13 July while on medical parole, he leaves behind a powerful legacy to inspire others to continue the struggle for human rights in China. Our greatest tribute to him will be to ensure that Liu Xia is free to do the same.