Plea by artists to free poet is turned down
China has rejected an appeal from dozens of writers and artists for the release from house arrest of the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.
A foreign ministry spokesman told reporters that Liu Xia’s right to travel was an issue for the Chinese government alone to determine.
“It is a matter that falls within China’s judicial sovereignty. She is a Chinese national (and) we of course handle the relevant issue in accordance with our laws and regulations,” Lu Kang said at a regularly scheduled news conference.
The comments came after writers and artists including South African novelist and Nobel winner JM Coetzee, Rita Dove, Paul Auster, Khaled Hosseini and Michael Chabon read excerpts of Liu Xia’s poetry as part of a video campaign.
Liu Xiaobo died of cancer last year while serving a prison sentence for incitement to subvert government power.Liu Xia, believed to be in declining health, has never been charged with a crime.