News / Asia

Supporters of Liu Xiaobo Under Surveillance in China

Policemen patrol outside the apartment complex where jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo's wife lives in Beijing, 10 Dec 2010
Policemen patrol outside the apartment complex where jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo's wife lives in Beijing, 10 Dec 2010
TEXT SIZE - +

The Nobel Committee is due to hold a ceremony Friday in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, to honor jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the recipient of this year's Nobel Peace prize.  At the same time, authorities in China are keeping Liu's supporters in China under close surveillance.  

Chinese authorities visibly stepped-up security in front of the compound where Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest since he was awarded the prestigious peace prize in October.

Guards checked the identities of all who entered.  Police cars were positioned on every surrounding corner and security agents patrolled the compound on foot.

Chinese authorities have also been closely guarding Liu's supporters, keeping them under house arrest or tight surveillance.

On Friday, lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said security agents showed up to monitor him a day earlier, and even accompanied him on a business trip outside of Beijing.

Pu says the agents are following him because of the Nobel ceremony, which he called "pretty scary" - not because he's afraid, but because he thinks the government is.  Pu says this time, the security agents told him they would stop following him on Saturday.

Others, such as journalist Li Datong, have faced restrictions on traveling overseas.

Li says he thinks he will not be allowed to travel abroad until the end of January.

At briefings this week, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu was asked about the Chinese government's various restrictions on Liu's supporters, or why his wife is under house arrest even though she has committed no crime.

Although these types of questions have been asked repeatedly, Jiang has refused to give a direct answer.

Jiang says reporters should ask what she calls the "competent authorities."  She also cast doubt on the accuracy of reports of house arrest or other harassment.

The Nobel Committee awarded Liu Xiaobo the Peace Prize for what it said was his "long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."  Liu is a longtime activist writer, who helped organize Charter 08, a manifesto calling for freedom of speech and political reform in China.  He disappeared into detention two years ago.  Last year, he was sentenced to 11-years in jail for subversion.  

Chinese officials stress that legal authorities found Liu to have broken the law.  Therefore, they say, awarding the Nobel prize to a Chinese criminal is an insult to China and an interference in the country's internal affairs.

The Nobel ceremony will go ahead, but the award itself will not be presented because Chinese authorities are preventing Liu's family members from attending the ceremony.

And inside China, there has been a noticeable campaign to block outside information about Liu Xiaobo and the Nobel ceremony - either by way of the Internet or through international TV news channels.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid