Literary figures sign letter calling for release of widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner

Literary figures sign letter calling for release of widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner

Many have called for the release of Liu Xia

Friday, November 3, 2017

More than 50 literary figures from across the world have signed a letter calling for the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo to be released from house arrest.

The letter is addressed to President of China Xi Jinping and calls for him to look upon his “sense of conscience," according to The South China Morning Post.

Liu Xia has never been charged with a crime and yet has been under house arrest for seven years. Those that knew her have also been stopped from seeing her since the arrest.

The last time the painter, poet and photographer was seen out in public was in July 2010, as she was attending a memorial service for her husband. The letter claims that she is now depressed and also has a heart condition.

The letter claims that she must be released under China’s international obligations as well as its own constitution which states people are entitled to freedom of speech.

It said: “Liu Xia has undergone great suffering for many years, simply for being the wife of a man that China has deemed to be a dissident. She has committed no crime and she has not been charged with any crime.”

The letter was arranged by PEN America, which is a group campaigning for free expression and which works to advance literature.

The group has said it will ask Donald Trump to take the letter to China when he visits the country and has urged members of the public to sign the letter as well.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo for his “long and non-violent struggle for human rights in China." He took part in the Tiananmen Square protests and called for democracy and freedom in China.

In 2009 he was also sentenced to 11 years in prison by China for “inciting subversion of state power."