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Liu Xia — Update 7

Liu Xia, "Open Letter to Xi Jinping," June 14, 2013.

Liu Xia, “Open Letter to Xi Jinping,” June 14, 2013.

Having received no response to her open letter to Xi Jingping of June 14, 2013, Liu Xia on June 21 authorized Beijing lawyers Mo Shaoping and Shang Baojun to prepare a legal petition to reopen the case against her imprisoned husband, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo, and provide him with a new trial.

Shang said Liu Xia also intended to initiate a lawsuit against the Beijing police for illegally keeping her under house arrest and incommunicado since October 2010, when her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize. Two policewomen live within the apartment itself. They keep Liu Xia from leaving her residence more than a few times each month; she’s limited to weekly visits to her parents, a monthly visit to her husband in jail, and periodic contact with her legal counsel. The uniformed and plainclothes guards posted outside block attempts at entrance to her building and her apartment by friends and the press.

Government official outside complaint bureau, Suzhou, Jiangsu province, July 2013, screenshot.

Government official outside complaint bureau, Suzhou, Jiangsu province, July 2013, screenshot.

The Chinese government’s concept of the role of police in society differs considerably from that of most western countries. According to the South China Morning Post, in a recent viral video an unidentified government official from the complaint bureau in Suzhou, in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, tells an angry crowd, “If the police don’t beat people, what’s the point of keeping them? The police are the government’s violence machine.” He was not extemporizing, or expressing a personal opinion, but quoting a police training manual.

Liu Xia’s younger brother Liu Hui, imprisoned earlier this year on charges of financial fraud, has already filed an appeal of the verdict in his case. His arrest and conviction are widely viewed as politically motivated.

Liu Xia Exhibition — Update 6

The arrest of Liu Xia’s younger brother, Liu Hui, in Beijing in late January of this year was followed in March by an indictment on charges of financial fraud. After a summary trial, Liu Hui was found guilty by a panel of three judges and, on June 9, given an unusually harsh sentence of 11 years in prison ― not coincidentally, the same length of time that Liu Xia’s husband, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo, currently serves. Knowledgeable observers consider this verdict to constitute official retribution. […]

Liu Xia Exhibition — Update 5

Liu Xia’s younger brother, Liu Hui, has been arrested and formally charged with fraud in Beijing. The charges relate to a real-estate dispute that resolved out of court months ago. Most observers take this as a transparent act of intimidation, and retaliation for two recent unauthorized visits to Liu Xia by small groups of her supporters. […]

Liu Xia Exhibition — Update 4

December 28, 2012 is the birthday of the Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, who is still in prison now. Several netizens, Hu Jia, Hao Jian, Liu Di, Xu Youyu and etc, who are friends of Liu Xiaobo came to visit his wife Liu Xia at around 9pm. Liu Xia has been under house detention since Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to imprisonment in 2008. The flash mob action is to express their wish for her freedom. […]

Liu Xia Exhibition — Update 3

Either accidentally or on purpose, the guards who for two years have kept Liu Xia from leaving her apartment, and kept visitors (including press) from entering her home, inexplicably stepped away for several hours during the lunch period on December 6. This enabled two intrepid Associated Press reporters to enter the apartment and record Liu Xia’s first interview in 26 months. […]

Liu Xia Exhibition — Update 2

“The Silent Strength of Liu Xia,” the touring exhibition of 26 photos by the dissident Chinese photographer, artist, and poet, opened in Hong Kong on June 9, its first showing on Chinese soil. It will remain on view there until July 2. This represented the first exhibition of these images on Chinese soil. […]

Liu Xia Exhibition — Update 1

As I write this, in April 2012, “The Silent Strength of Liu Xia,” an exhibition of 26 photos by the dissident Chinese photographer, artist, and poet, has entered the third month of its run at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, based at Columbia University in New York City. Opening there on February […]