Plea by artists to free poet is turned down

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - WORLD NEWS -

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.

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