Just days before the anniversary of her husband’s death, Liu Xia, wife of Liu Xiaobo has been granted permission to travel to Germany for medical treatment. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has welcomed the decision by the Chinese authorities.
On July 10, three days before the first anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s death, Liu Xia boarded a plane in Beijing to travel to Germany to seek medical treatment. The news was released by a spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry, which said the travel was part of Liu Xia’s wishes.
Liu, 57, has been under house arrest since 2009, when her husband was jailed for ‘inciting subversion of state power’. Liu was never charged with any crimes, and despite authorities saying she is a ‘free person’, she has been under heavy surveillance by the authorities. Due to her ongoing house arrest, Liu has been diagnosed with depression.
The IFJ said: “We welcome the decision by the Chinese authorities to grant permission to Liu Xia to travel to Germany for medical treatment. However, we urge the authorities to end the ongoing detention and punishment of dozens of citizens for simply exercising their right to free speech.”
Liu Xiaobo died on July 13, 2017. He was serving an 11 year sentence when he was diagnosed with liver cancer. Despite repeated requests to travel to Europe for medical treatement, Chinese authorities denied the request, and he passed away in the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang. In 2010, Liu became the first Chinese national to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
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