China lets No­bel widow leave for Ber­lin af­ter house ar­rest

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - — The As­so­ci­ated

BER­LIN » In the fall of 2010, Liu Xia trav­eled to a prison in north­east China to tell her hus­band, the dis­si­dent in­tel­lec­tual Liu Xiaobo, that he had just been awarded the No­bel Peace Prize. That was the last time she left home as a free woman. Un­til this week. China on Tues­day al­lowed Liu Xia to fly to Ber­lin, end­ing an eight-year house ar­rest that drew in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism and made the soft-spo­ken, chain-smok­ing 57-year-old poet with a shaven head a tragic icon known around the world.

The re­lease of Liu Xia, who was never charged with any crime, re­sults from years of cam­paign­ing by Western gov­ern­ments and ac­tivists and comes just days be­fore the one-year an­niver­sary Fri­day of Liu Xiaobo’s death. Liu’s 11-year prison sen­tence and his wife’s sub­se­quent de­ten­tion in her home had be­come glar­ing sym­bols of the au­thor­i­tar­ian gov­ern­ment’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to pre­vent the cou­ple from be­com­ing an in­spi­ra­tion to other Chi­nese.

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