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15th May 2018, 14:50:24 UTC

Liu Xia, widow of late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, kept crying during a recent recorded telephone conversation and said that she is prepared to die.

Diagnosed as clinically depressed, Liu Xia’s well-being is the subject of serious concern after repeated empty promises by the Chinese authorities to allow her to leave China.

Liu Xia had a seven-minute telephone call on 8 April 2018 with Liao Yiwu, an exiled Chinese writer based in Germany, during which she stated that she was prepared to die if the Chinese government did not allow her to leave China. Crying throughout the conversation, Liu Xia said: “Now, I have nothing to be afraid of. If I can’t leave, I’ll die in my home. Xiaobo is gone, and there’s nothing for me now. It’s easier to die than live. Using death to defy could not be any simpler for me.”

In addition to sharing the audio recording, Liao Yiwu wrote an article – published on the US-based human rights website China Change (chinachange.org) on 2 May 2018 – revealing that Chinese authorities have repeatedly promised Liu Xia that she would be able to leave China and seek treatment for her clinical depression. State security officers apparently first told Liu Xia to wait for the conclusion of the Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress in October 2017. Then, once that had passed, the officers told her to wait until after the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which concluded in March 2018.

Liu Xia’s mental state continues to be of concern to her friends and activists, while German and American authorities have reportedly renewed their calls for Liu Xia to be allowed to travel overseas.
Held in illegal house arrest since her late husband Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, Liu Xia continues to face restrictions and surveillance following Liu Xiaobo’s death on 13 July 2017.

Call on the Chinese authorities to end this illegal house arrest.

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