The widow of Chinese political dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is currently in Beijing under surveillance and her exact whereabouts remain unknown. Several friends told Efe news that the Chinese government has forced Liu Xia to disappear to prevent her from speaking out about their treatment of her and her husband, who died in custody on July 13 from liver cancer “The government has forced her disappearance, there is no doubt about that,” said a friend of the family, the activist and writer Wu Yangwei, who is also known as Ye Du. Prominent dissident Hu Jia claimed Liu Xia is at a friend’s house but did not know who the friend was. “Currently, she can’t contact anyone,” he told Efe. Liu Xia was last seen during the July 15 funeral of her husband in photographs released by the state authorities.
Ye Du said the authorities are treating Liu Xia in a “cruel and inhumane” manner by continuing her house arrest, which she has been subjected to for more than seven years. Leading political activist Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of subversion in 2009 after helping to draft Charter 08, a political manifesto signed by hundreds of Chinese intellectuals that demanded democratic reforms in China. Liu Xia was put under house arrest shortly after her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, although she has not been formally charged with any crime.