Liu Xia, poet, photographer and painter. Although she is not guilty of any crime, she is under arbitrary house arrest because of another identity--as the wife of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Since her husband Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2010, Liu Xia has been under house arrest at her home in conditions akin to a convict serving her sentence outside of prison. She is under tight and strict surveillance and is followed closely by public security personnel even when she visits her parents and her husband in prison. Her contact with anyone outside of her family has almost been cut off. Friends who visit her have been manhandled. Her telephone at home has been cut and she cannot go online. Recently, she is prohibited from even going out for a stroll.
Liu Xia is innocent, but her human rights have been unlawfully deprived and even her family has been persecuted by association simply because she is Liu Xiaobo’s wife. On June 9, 2013, Liu Xia’s younger brother Liu Hui was sentenced harshly by the authorities to 11 years in prison on trumped-up charge of “fraud.”
Liu Xiao already has to endure the pain of her husband Liu Xiaobo’s long imprisonment, but her physical and mental state of health is in tatters after years of arbitrary detention and forced isolation from the outside world imposed on her by the authorities. Liu Xia reportedly suffers from serious insomnia, heart problems, depression, and slurred speech. Recently, under pressure by the international community, the authorities allowed last month a few of Liu Xia’s friends to talk to her on the phone. However, the Concern Group sees these as limited communication rather than freedom, and they are wholly insufficient to improve Liu Xia’s physical and mental health which has been wrecked by deprivation of liberty.
For participating in the drafting of Charter 08 and expressing aspirations for democracy, freedom, constitutional government, rule of law and a society based on equality, Liu Xiaobo was criminalized for his speech and harshly sentenced on December 25, 2009, to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of State power.” Liu Xiaobo’s expression of his views is consistent with the basic rights enshrined in China’s Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which China signed. The Chinese government’s oppression of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia is unlawful and seriously tramples upon human rights.
Human rights are without borders and everyone has a responsibility to defend and safeguard them. China is a major power whose significance to the world is growing day by day. China’s progress on human rights, rule of law, and openness affects the development of world peace and civilization. What Liu Xiaobo advocated for are universal, civilized values. We believe that these values benefit the world and are helpful to China’s move towards a more civilized and healthier model of development. Therefore, we, groups and individuals from all regions of the world, seriously urge the Chinese government to:
1. End Liu Xia’s house arrest and restore her personal liberty and all basic rights;
2. Immediately and unconditionally release Liu Xiaobo and Liu Hui;
3. Release all rights defenders and political dissidents arbitrarily detained.
Initiating organization: Liu Xia Concern Group*
* Liu Xia Concern Group consists of many Hong Kong and international groups working on freedom of expression, as well as on human rights, democracy, and social justice in China, including: the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, Amnesty International Hong Kong, Independent Chinese PEN Centre, International Federation of Journalists, China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, and Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese.
More information at http://saveliuxiaobo.wordpress.com