Friday, November 19, 2010

U.S. Worries Over Nobel Pick's Wife

Wall Street Journal
November 19, 2010

The top U.S. diplomat in Hong Kong said the continued silence of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo's wife, held under virtual house arrest in Beijing, was a "cause for concern."

Liu Xia, Mr. Liu's wife, has been under increasingly strict surveillance by police since the announcement of the award last month. Chinese authorities appear unwilling to allow Ms. Liu to go to Oslo to accept the award on behalf of her husband in December.

Authorities have cut off her phone and Internet access, and U.S. Embassy officials say they hadn't heard from her in several weeks.

A prominent dissident writer, Mr. Liu is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion handed down after he cowrote a call for an overhaul of China's authoritarian, one-party political system.

A spokeswoman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the matter is an internal one.