Liu Xia, widow of dissident, leaves China for Germany, friend says

10 Juillet, 2018, 14:19 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

Her friends said she left China on board a Finnair flight bound for Germany on Tuesday.

Gao Yu, a family friend and veteran Chinese journalist in Beijing, confirmed the post was written by Liu Hui and told AP that Liu Xia was headed to Berlin.

"Liu Xia has been kept isolated for so many years", said Wu by phone from the southern city of Guangzhou.

While there was no immediate comment from its embassy, Germany had been urging China to allow Mrs Liu to leave.

Liu Xia, the widow of late Chinese political dissident and Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo, has left Beijing on a flight to Berlin, according to news reports.

In May, dozens of the world's leading writers and artists, from Michael Chabon to Paul Auster and Khaled Hosseini, called on China to release her to seek medical treatment overseas.

Protesters carrying photos of Chinese dissident Liu Xia demonstrate near a flag raising ceremony for China's National Day in Hong Kong, China October 1, 2016.

Several Western diplomats tried to visit her at her Beijing apartment in May amid concerns over her psychological health but were refused entry without explanation.

If the reports that she's been released to Germany are true, it would mark an end to almost a decade of unofficial detention for Liu Xia-who has been kept under strict state surveillance since Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2010.

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The post was verified by two of Liu Xia's close friends.

Rights groups and Western nations had been raising pressure on Beijing over Liu Xia in recent months, as fears grew among rights groups that she might never be able to leave and live overseas, a wish she had made clear. "China hopes to team up with Germany", he said. While in Beijing in May, German chancellor Angela Merkel met with the wife of a detained human rights lawyer.

Liu Xiaobo died aged 61 in hospital on July 13 a year ago.

He said China's constitution protected human rights. Germany and the United States both sent doctors to visit Liu Xiaobo during his last days. "It would be most callous of the Chinese authorities to use Liu Xia's relatives to put pressure on Liu Xia to prevent her from speaking out in the future", Poon said.

But China has lambasted calls for her release, saying it was an internal matter. He was later released but remained closely monitored, according to friends of the family, and is still in China. He had been sentenced to 11 years in 2009 on subversion charges.

Western diplomats, however, disagree.

"Liu Xia might not be able to speak much for fear of her brother's safety", Poon said.

Chinese authorities have insisted Liu Xia, who has not been formally charged of any crime, has been free to move as she wishes.

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