HONG KONG – Supporters of Liu Xia, a poet and widow of Chinese human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, held a tribute in Hong Kong on Tuesday to mark her departure to Germany from China.
Liu Xia boarded a flight to Germany after Beijing authorities allowed her to seek “medical treatment,” China’s foreign ministry said earlier on Tuesday.
Liu Xia, 57, had been under house arrest since 2010, a situation that continued even after her husband died from liver cancer a year ago. He had been in jail since 2009 for inciting subversion.
Her departure from China comes just three days before the first anniversary of her husband’s death, and also coincides with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Germany.
The Chinese foreign ministry denied any link between Li’s visit and Liu’s release.
“I don’t see any association between this incident and the visit of Li” to Germany, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
He also denied any link between German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to China in May and Liu Xia’s departure for medical treatment to the European country.
“It is not a diplomatic question,” Hua said.
At the tribute on Paterson Street in Hong Kong, ousted lawmaker Leung kwok hung, AKA ‘Long Hair’, gave supporters an update on Liu Xia, and promised to keep busts and statues of Liu Xiaobo up until the first anniversary of his death on Friday, an epa-efe journalist reports.
On July 13, they will commemorate the first anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s death with a planned march to Tamar Park, which is near the Hong Kong Central Government headquarters and the Legislative Council.