The Corner

Dropping in on a Chinese Political Prisoner

My colleague Jay Nordlinger has been following the most recent developments about Liu Xia, the accomplished wife of Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo. Beijing has long kept Liu Xia under house arrest, penalizing her for the “crimes” of her husband.

But a few brave individuals have been able to break Liu Xia’s isolation recently, which must be rather disconcerting for the Chinese government. As Jay and I both recounted, reporters from the Associated Press were able to slip past and interview her last month. A few weeks later, some Chinese activists also made it past the police.

And now, another famed dissident activist is calling on more people to follow suit:

Activist Hu Jia said Chinese citizens, human rights workers and foreign politicians should visit Liu Xia at her guarded Beijing apartment to help her regain freedom, a call reminiscent of the campaign to visit blind activist Chen Guangcheng in Shandong before his escape from house arrest last spring.

“This should not be permitted to happen in a civilized society,” Hu said. “To rescue Liu Xia is to rescue the right of all citizens.”

And though I haven’t seen any other reports of successful visits, Mingpao, a Hong Kong newspaper, recently ran a story that offered plentiful information about where an interested party could find Liu Xia’s house and what surveillance is currently in place. (Here’s the Google translation of the Chinese-language story.) A side-note: a legibly sized version of Mingpao’s rather detailed infographic is mysteriously no longer available online.


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