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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

China Keeps Liu Xiaobo’s Widow, Her House under Strict Surveillance

BEIJING – Chinese authorities continue to keep the house of the late Nobel Peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and his widow under strict surveillance in Beijing with presence of several security personnel and a police van outside the house, as told to EFE on Monday.

The whereabouts of the widow, whose fragile health has been worrying the friends and relatives, are yet unknown, but her house in Beijing has been under strict surveillance

Several EFE reporters tried to access her apartment, but they were stopped by a young man, who, without revealing his identity, asked the journalists to get permission from the officer in charge of the housing development.

When asked why it was necessary to get an authorization to enter this apartment while it was not required for the other apartments, the man claimed it was a private apartment.

Several men, who claimed to be from housing development administration (majority of them without uniform), threatened the journalists and asked them to delete the photos taken at that place.

The men grabbed journalists’ arms, pushed them and called the police, who held them for half an hour to verify their credentials.

Members of the security forces said a special authorization was required to access this flat and asked the journalist to apologize to the security personnel for the photographs.

Questioned about being aggressive towards these people, the police insisted that the reporters have been working in an illegal manner and that the group was only defending itself to protect its image.

Journalists covering the case of the Nobel Peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who passed away Thursday in police custody, are constantly being intimidated and persecuted, according to a recent statement by the China Foreign Correspondents Club.

In Shenyang, where Liu breathed his last breath, several men followed each journalist who had gone to the city to cover the case, even when they went to the bathroom or when they ate, practically almost 24 hours a day.

Liu Xia, widow of the Nobel Peace prize laureate, has been under house arrest for the past seven years, although she has not been formally charged with any crime, and no journalist or friends were allowed to visit her.

After the death of her husband, symbol of the struggle for democracy, people close to her fear that the regime will continue to keep her under strict surveillance so that she cannot speak about what happened.

Close family friends said they have not been able to contact her for a long time and the last time she could be seen in public was on Saturday during Liu Xiaobo’s funeral.

The authorities informed about the small ceremony that was held to bid farewell to Liu and showed several photographs of the funeral with his widow by his coffin and present while scattering of his remains in the sea.

Liu Xia appeared to be in a fragile state of health, as she was standing with support of others, and quite depressed.

Her relatives believe the authorities had forced their choice of how to bury Liu Xiaobo and chose to scatter Liu’s cremated remains at sea – a rare practice in China -to discard the possibility of a grave where people could recall his peaceful struggle for democracy and freedom.

 

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