Liu Xia: “Tell Everybody I’m Not Free”
Liu Xia, the wife of jailed Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo, was seen in public on Tuesday for the first time in two-and-a-half years as she attended her brother’s trial in Beijing on fraud charges related to a property dispute. From The Guardian’s Tania Branigan:
Liu Xia cried, smiled and blew kisses to foreign diplomats and media – some of whom she knew prior to her isolation – outside the courthouse in Huairou, just outside Beijing.
Liu Xia shouted: “I’m not free – tell everybody I’m not free!” a diplomat said.
She added: “I love you – I miss you,” before being taken away.
The diplomat added that Liu looked physically well but was clearly emotional – jumping up and down when she first spotted the people waiting outside.
Liu Xia has never been accused of a crime but has been under house arrest since her husband won the Nobel peace price in October 2010. A team of reporters from the Associated Press gained entry to her apartment and interview her in early December of last year, and four activists pushed past guards to reach her several weeks later. Lawyers and family members believe that the authorities have brought fraud charges against Liu’s brother as retaliation for those two visits, according to the South China Morning Post, since the charges relate to a disputed real estate deal which his attorney’s claim has already been settled.