< Go to Homepage

After Liu Xiaobo’s Death, Australia Calls for China to Release His Widow

There's growing calls to free Liu Xia, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident's widow.

Politics By

A dissident’s legacy is fueling protest against his widow’s captivity.

Australia urged China to release Liu Xia on Sunday following the death of her husband Liu Xiaobo, China’s best-known democracy activist. The dissident died of liver cancer in custody last week.

In 2009, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in sentence for “inciting subversion of state power” after he wrote a petition for democratic reforms known as “Chapter 08.” He served three shorter stints in prison during the 1990’s after he returned to China in 1989 to join the Tienamen Square protests.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia (C), together with human rights lawyer Mo Shaoping (L), arrive at the court for the trial of her brother, Liu Hui, who is charged for committing fraud in connection with a real-estate deal, in Beijing on April 23, 2013. The Nobel winner’s wife, Liu Xia, who is Liu Hui’s sister, has been under house arrest in Beijing since her husband was awarded the prize, though she has not been formally charged with any crime. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Liu Xia has been under house arrest since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. NBC News reports that a Chinese official said Liu Xia was currently free, but they would not reveal her whereabouts. Australia’s call for her release will likely antagonize its largest trading partner, which has already asked Western nations to refrain from making comments on Liu’s death.

Chinese President Xi Jiping will be on wrong the side of history when Liu Xiaobo’s legacy is solidified, New York Review of Books writes. The only other Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody was German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who perished in a Nazi jail after winning the 1935 prize.

Read full story at New York Review of Books