News / Asia

    Relatives: Nobel Winner Liu's Wife to Visit Him Sunday

    Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (L) his wife Liu Xia (file photo)
    Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (L) his wife Liu Xia (file photo)

    Relatives say the wife of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo will visit him Sunday so that she can tell him he just won the Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy of democratic reforms in China.

    It is not clear where Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, might meet.  But relatives suggest it could take place inside the prison in Jin Zhou City, where he is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion.  There has been no government confirmation of the expected visit.

    Authorities have detained supporters of Liu who gathered in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities to celebrate his prestigious award.  The French news agency said dozens were detained, while Australia's ABC News said 14 were arrested in Beijing and more in Shanghai.

    The government, which calls Liu a criminal, continued to censor news of his award.  It also kept reporters away from the prison and cut off service to Liu Xia's mobile phone.

    When the award was announced, Chinese authorities called it "a blasphemy to the peace prize."

    The 54-year-old Liu was arrested in December 2008, two days before his Charter 08 call for democratic reforms in China was published.  He was sentenced last Christmas Day to the prison term for "inciting subversion of state power."

    Overseas, human rights activists and world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, have praised Liu and the Nobel Prize committee in Norway for giving him the award.

    The Associated Press reported that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao ignored a question about Liu's award that was submitted to him for a joint news conference in Turkey with the Turkish premier.

    The Chinese state-run Global Times, in a Saturday editorial, called the award "an arrogant showcase of Western ideology" and said it disrespected the Chinese people.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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