nobel laureate cremated wife rights activist ‘freed’
Last Updated : GMT 06:41:18
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Nobel laureate cremated; wife, rights activist ‘freed’

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Nobel laureate cremated; wife, rights activist ‘freed’

Shenyang , China - Arab Today

Deceased Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo was cremated on Saturday while his wife, as well as a prominent rights activist have been “freed,” according to a government official.
Liu, 61, died of multiple organ failure on Thursday in a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang, where he was being treated for late-stage liver cancer, having been given medical parole but not freed.
He had been jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after helping to write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms.
His wife, Liu Xia, has been under effective house arrest since her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, but had been allowed to visit him in prison about once a month. She has never been formally charged with any crime.
City government information official Zhang Qingyang said Liu Xiaobo was cremated on Saturday morning, in accordance with his relatives’ wishes and local customs.
His wife Liu Xia was present, and was given the ashes, Zhang told a news conference in Shenyang.
“According to my understanding, Liu Xia is currently free,” he said, adding that as a Chinese citizen, her rights would be protected under the law.
“But she just lost her spouse. She is extremely sad. In the period after dealing with the death of Liu Xiaobo, she won’t take anymore outside disturbances. This is the wish of the family members. It’s natural.”
Zhang did not say where Liu Xia currently was.
Meanwhile, China’s one of the most prominent rights activists was released by the authorities on Saturday after serving a 4-year sentence that prompted international criticism, with his lawyer saying he hoped he would be allowed to live as a free man.
Xu Zhiyong, whose “New Citizens’ Movement” advocated working within the system to press for change, was detained in 2013 and subsequently convicted of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.”
One of the group’s main demands had been for officials to publicly disclose their assets, a demand taken against the backdrop of the ruling Communist Party’s own efforts to crackdown on deep-seat corruption under President Xi Jinping.
Xu’s lawyer, Zhang Qingfang, told Reuters he had brought Xu up to speed with “events on the outside,” including the death of fellow activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Xiaobo. He said Xu was “upset” upon hearing the news.
At the height of Xu’s activism, he attracted hundreds of supporters who participated in activities related to the movement, having first gained prominence in 2003 for helping victims of tainted baby formula and migrant workers without access to health care and education.

Source: Arab News

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