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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.

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