Chinese artist remains in house arrest, even after heart attack
China, action created 26.2.2014, petition is active
Liu Xia, wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, has been held under house arrest since 8 October 2010. She suffered a heart attack in January 2014 and, though brought to a hospital for examination, was denied the two week stay in the hospital doctors recommended. She remains under house arrest, and there are serious concerns about her physical and mental health. Amnesty International considers Liu Xia a prisoner of conscience, unjustly confined to her home primarily because of the political actions of her husband. Amnesty International also notes that she has never been formally tried or convicted, thus violating her right to a fair trial and freedom of expression.
Liu Xia (53) has been detained under house arrest since 8 October 2010, isolated from the rest of the world. She has been unable to see her family or friends, except when they can convince her guards to be lenient, and she has been denied access to a telephone and the internet. She was arrested two days after her husband, Liu Xiaobo, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He has been arrested and sentenced to 11 years in prison for his dissident writings and for co-authoring the Charter 08.
In January 2014, Liu Xia suffered a heart attack and was brought to the Beijing Shijingshan hospital for treatment. There, doctors recommended a two week observation in the hospital, but police denied her this treatment, returning her to house arrest. On 8 February, Liu Xia was again brought to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with a health condition. Her family filled out all the necessary forms and paid for her treatment, but police again reinstated her house arrest. She is now at home with a high fever, and concerns about her physical and mental health are mounting.
In December 2012, the restrictions were lifted slightly, when friends and family were permitted to see her under very strict conditions. But since then, a Hong Kong journalist has been beaten and detained after trying to visit her, and her brother, Liu Hui, was charged with fraud and tried in April 2013, a move Liu Xia believes was politically motivated to increase pressure on the family.
Liu Xia, a poet and artist, remains under constant surveillance under house arrest at her home in Beijing. Chinese authorities jailed her after her husband Liu Xiaobo, the poet and literary critic, received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Liu Xiaobo was one of the leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, and in December 2009 was sentenced to 11 years in jail after an only two-hour trial for "endangering state security" by writing the "Charter 08." This charter called for democratization of the country, and was inspired by Czechoslovakia's Charter 77. In 2010 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his actions; one of his nominations came from Vaclav Havel. His imprisonment has provoked critical reactions, and organizations around the world have called repeatedly for his release. in 1989 was one of the leaders of the protests in Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen men). During the 90 He spent three years working in a correctional facility.