Published: Tue, July 10, 2018

Dissident Liu Xiaobo's widow 'allowed to leave China'

Dissident Liu Xiaobo's widow 'allowed to leave China'

Another friend, Ye Du, told the Post that Liu Xia's elder brother, Liu Tong, told him over the telephone that he was very happy that his sister had left China.

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.

Her departure, following a year of pressure on the government from activists and worldwide human rights organizations, comes at the end of a visit to Germany by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Liu left the country aboard a Finnair flight, her friends said. He was due to leave Germany on Tuesday.

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

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

His wife had been under varying degrees of house arrest since his Nobel award in 2010, and had been prevented from leaving the country, even for medical treatment.

Johnny Lau, a political commentator based in Hong Kong, said he believed the authorities had let her leave in order to avoid her case sparking a "surge" of pressure on China around the July 13 anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's death.

"A trade war has also broken out between China and the United States".

"Now China has made use of an opportunity to do Germany a favor so as to strengthen the Sino-German relationship".

In an emotional phone call with her close friend Chinese writer Liao Yiwu recently, Liu Xia said, "they should add a line to the constitution: "Loving Liu Xiaobo is a serious crime - it's a life sentence". "I'm grateful for all those who cared about and helped her over the years".

She was last seen in an official photo taken on July 2017, in which she and a few relatives lowered an urn containing Liu Xiaobo's ashes into the Pacific Ocean near Dalian, a city in northeast China.

"Now, the harassment of Liu Xia's family who remain in China must end too. Liu Xia might not be able to speak much for fear of her brother's safety", Poon said.

Western diplomats reportedly tried to visit Mrs Liu at her Beijing flat in May but were refused entry.

"I hope she can shake off all the unhappy memories of the past when she gets to a free place, and that her health can be assured".

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