Posts Tagged ‘Liu Xia’

Liu Xiaobo, 1955-2017: “Hatred can rot a person’s wisdom and conscience.”

Thursday, July 13th, 2017
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With his wife in happier times.

Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the 2010 Nobel peace prize while in prison, died today of liver cancer, in a hospital under guards. He was 61. From the New York Times:

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The Chinese government revealed he had cancer in late June, only after the illness was virtually beyond treatment. Officially, Mr. Liu gained medical parole. But even as he faced death, he was kept silenced in the First Hospital of China Medical University, still a captive of the authoritarian controls that he had fought for decades.

He was the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in state custody since Carl von Ossietzky, the German pacifist and foe of Nazism who won the prize in 1935 and died under guard in 1938 after years of maltreatment.

His cancer announced last month – too late to treat – and while it did offer him parole, it did not offer him freedom or a visit from his wife:

The police in China have kept Mr. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, under house arrest and smothering surveillance, preventing her from speaking out about Mr. Liu’s belated treatment for cancer.

“Can’t operate, can’t do radiotherapy, can’t do chemotherapy,” Ms. Liu said in a brief video message to a friend when her husband’s fatal condition was announced. The message quickly spread online.

“Hatred can rot a person’s wisdom and conscience,” Mr. Liu said in a statement he prepared for his trial for subversion shortly before he was awarded the Nobel. “An enemy mentality will poison the spirit of a nation and inflame brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and hinder a country’s advance toward freedom and democracy.”

He was not allowed to receive the 2010 award, of course, and was represented by an empty chair. We wrote about that here. We’ve written elsewhere about this peacemaker here and here and here.
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“Language gets its beauty by making truth glow in the darkness.”

– Liu Xiaobo, 1955-2017

 

Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo still imprisoned. Wife under house arrest. What does the West have to say? Crickets.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
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She’s been silenced. He’s in prison.

Liu Xiaobo. Remember him? The writer, critic, and former professor was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” The Chinese dissident has been imprisoned since 2008 after helping to draft Charter 08, a manifesto calling for sweeping changes in China’s government that was signed by thousands of supporters.

So what does the West have to say about it? Crickets.

From Radio Free Asia:

Five years after being awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, activists are calling on the ruling Chinese Communist Party to release his wife Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest at the couple’s Beijing apartment since her husband’s award was announced.

Beijing rights activist Hu Jia, a close friend of the Lius, said the Nobel award has had huge repercussions for the activist’s entire extended family.

“[Liu Xia’s] brother was sentenced to 11 years in jail, which was entirely because of his connection to the Lius,” Hu told RFA.

“But the worst persecution has been the way they have cut off Liu Xia’s communication with the outside world, and silenced her,” he said.

While Liu Hui has since been released from prison, he remains under bail conditions, and is an important form of leverage over Liu Xia, Hu said.

liuxiaobo“Basically, they are effectively saying to Liu Xia that if she has any contact with the outside world, people like me, foreign diplomats or journalists, then they can put her brother back in jail again,” he said.

“So she has no way to speak out either on her husband’s behalf, or her own.”

As for Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo himself:

In June 2014, the authorities turned down an application for parole from Liu’s lawyers, who said he can’t make a fresh request for another three years from that date.

In the application, Liu, 60, criticized the prison authorities for denying him the right to be in contact with friends and family, which is against China’s Constitution.

However, he is unlikely to qualify for parole, because he has never admitted to committing any crime.

His lawyers say Liu still follows political developments in China, where the administration of President Xi Jinping launched a nationwide police operation that has detained nearly 300 rights attorneys, paralegals, and legal activists since early July.

Read the rest here. Read here for Liu Xia’s 2011 desperate internet message: “I’m crying. Nobody can help me.”

Liu Xiaobo. Remember him?

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
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Who dat?

What does Liu Xiaobo have in common with  Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Henry Kissinger, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Jimmy Carter?

Hint: I’ve written about him here and here and here, among other places.  Another hint: remember the empty chair?

How easily we forget a Nobel peace prize winner when it’s inconvenient to remember!   According to PolicyMic, a website founded by recent Harvard and Stanford grads Chris Altchek and Jake Horowitz, “Liu’s conditions are largely unknown, but many, including Amnesty International, fear the worst the Chinese can offer. The most startling aspect of the Liu Xiaobo case has not just been his arrest for subversion, as his fellow activist Ai Weiwei was in 2011, but the lack of American support for an activist who has been a strong supporter of the United States.”

According to the site, the last time Liu Xiaobo’s fate or existence has been mentioned by the U.S. government was in 2010, “when a bi-partisan group of 30 members of the U.S. Congress wrote President Barack Obama a passionate letter pleading for the president to discuss the release of Liu Xiaobo and fellow activist Gao Zhisheng at the G-20 Summit with President Hu Jintao.”

Here’s the newest development:

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In happier times…

Authorities in the Chinese capital on Friday detained a group of activists who tried to visit Liu Xia, the wife of jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo under house arrest at her Beijing home, and beat up Hong Kong journalists who tried to follow them.

Hong Kong activist Yeung Hong, together with Henan-based activist Liu Shasha and two unnamed netizens from Beijing, got as far as the residential compound in a Beijing suburb where Liu has been held under police guard since October 2010, when the Nobel committee first announced her husband’s award.

Holding a placard with the words “Liu Xia, everyone is behind you!” and shouting slogans through a megaphone, the activists were quickly detained, questioned for several hours, and then released in the early hours of Friday morning.

The visit came just days after an international signature campaign begun by Archbishop Desmond Tutu calling on Beijing to free both Lius was handed to Chinese officials, after being signed last year by more than 130 former Nobel laureates across all disciplines.

PolicyMic again:

chair1To help Liu Xiaobo, and his wife Xia, go to Amnesty International and Change. Amnesty International can always use a small monetary donation to do great things; however, if you are a bit more frugal, all the Change petition (led by Desmond Tutu) needs from you is a signature. Let the people of the world try to succeed where Western governments have failed, and in the process try convince those governments to try again … for Liu Xiaobo and Lia, for Gao Zhisheng and Ai Weiwei, and all those unfairly imprisoned by corrupt governments.

Liu Xia’s desperate internet message: “I’m crying. Nobody can help me.”

Friday, February 25th, 2011
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"Can't go out. My whole family are hostages."

On Thursday, the 17th of February, the Chinese celebrated the Lantern Festival, the last day of the Lunar New Year celebrations.

Liu Xia, wife of this year’s Nobel peace laureate, the writer Liu Xiaobo, celebrated in her own way:  she managed to get on the internet for five minutes, communicating with a friend.  It is believed to be her first contact with the outside world in four months. Her phone and internet lines were cut off soon after the announcement of the Nobel.

The friend provided the transcript to the Washington Post.

“I don’t know how I managed to get online,” Liu Xia wrote to the friend in her post. “Don’t go online. Otherwise my whole family is in danger.”

The friend asked, “Are you at home?”

“Yes,” Liu Xia responded, writing in Pinyin, the Chinese transliteration system. She said she was using an old computer and apparently could not type Chinese characters.

“Can’t go out. My whole family are hostages,” Liu Xia said. …

“So miserable,” she wrote. “Don’t talk.”

“I’m crying,” she added. “Nobody can help me.”

She added that she had only seen her husband once since the Nobel.  The friend wrote was afraid of causing her more trouble, and wrote: “Please log out first. We miss you and support you. We will wait for you outside.” She replied “Goodbye” and “Okay,” and the chat ended.

According to Radio Free Asia:

Hu Ping, the chief editor of Beijing Spring, a New York-based pro-human rights and democracy journal, told RFA that he was surprised Liu Xia came online on Thursday.

He said that on Friday he had spoken on the phone with one of Liu Xia’s friends in China who was saying that everyone was worried because they had not heard any news from her in recent months.

Hu Ping also expressed concern over Liu Xia’s psychological state.

The good news: Liu Xiaobo’s writing will be published in English. The bad news: not till 2012.

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
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Liu Xiaobo and wife Liu Xia: "I will embrace you with ashes"

Some time ago, I wrote that it was unfortunate that we had no access to the writings of this year’s imprisoned Nobel peace prize winner, Liu Xiaobo.  All writers, after all, would rather be known for their writings rather than their persecution.

Now it’s official that the prestigious Graywolf Press will be publishing a bilingual edition of the Chinese writer’s June Fourth Elegies.  The book will be out in 2012.  The title of his book, which of course has not come out in China, refers to the June 4, 1989, suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square.

From Galleycat, we also learn that poet Jeffrey Yang will translate the collection. Literary agent Peter Bernstein negotiated the deal with Jeffrey Shotts and publisher Fiona McCrae.

That’s not all.  Harvard University Press (also prestigious) will publish a selection of works by the Chinese dissident, also next year.  The untitled anthology will contain poetry, essays, and social commentary.

The academic press has enlisted UC-Riverside’s  Perry Link to direct a translation team. Said Link: “Until he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo was little known in the West. This collection offers to the reader of English the full range of his astute and penetrating analyses of culture, politics, and society in China today.”