China frees the widow of a Nobel peace-prize winner

Liu Xia, out of their grip at last

LIU XIA, the widow of China’s most renowned dissident of the 21st century, Liu Xiaobo, had been facing the grim prospect of commemorating the death a year ago of her husband while herself still having to endure house arrest in Beijing. But on the morning of July 10th, three days before the anniversary, the authorities allowed Ms Liu to board a Finnair flight to Helsinki for a connection to Berlin, where she has friends (she is pictured during her stopover in Finland). Germany had taken the lead among the many Western countries that had been pressing for her release. China’s prime minister, Li Keqiang, happened to be visiting Germany when news broke of Ms Liu’s long-awaited freedom.

Her confinement began in 2010, days after her husband, then a year into an 11-year sentence for subversion, won the Nobel peace prize. Though never formally charged with any crime herself, she was usually prevented by security agents from leaving their…Continue reading

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