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China frees dissident Nobel Peace laureate’s widow Liu Xia

Beijing, July 10: After seven years of house arrest, Liu Xia, the widow of activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, on Tuesday left for Germany.

Liu Xia had been under house arrest since 2010 when her late husband was awarded the top peace prize while serving his sentence for “anti-China” activities.

He died of cancer in 2017, becoming the first Nobel Peace Prize winner in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1938. Liu Xia took a plane to Berlin at 11 a.m., family friends said. She has never been charged with any crime but said in May that she was ready to die in protest over her continued detention.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, which was cagey about the details and reasons for freeing Liu Xia, said the 57-year-old poet left for Germany for treatment of her own volition. “I should say Liu Xia travelled to Germany for medical treatment in accordance with her own will,” Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. Her husband, a university professor turned human rights campaigner, was jailed in 2009 on charges ofr inciting subversion. (IANS)

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