Following the dramatic visit last week by activists to Liu Xia, the wife of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, despite her being under house arrest, leading Chinese dissident Hu Jia has called for more people to follow suit and thus ‘rescue’ her from her unlawful detention.
Chinese citizens, human rights workers and foreign politicians should visit Liu Xia at her guarded Beijing flat to help her regain freedom, activist Hu Jia said.
“This should not be permitted to happen in a civilised society,” Hu said. “To rescue Liu Xia is to rescue the right of all citizens.”
The call is reminiscent of the campaign to visit blind activist Chen Guangcheng in Shandong before his escape from house arrest last April.
“You can blame the country for her first year under house arrest and the guards for her second year. But it will be the shame of all of us citizens if she should remain in her home prison for a third year,” Hu said.
While Liu Xiaobo has been convicted of ‘inciting subversion of state power’ and formally sentenced to 11-years in prison, Liu Xia‘s detention, like that of Chen Guangcheng, is entirely extra-legal. Activists believe that by visiting her regularly they can embarrass the Chinese government into at least relaxing the terms of her house arrest, if not releasing her completely.
In the run up to Chen Guangcheng‘s dramatic escape last year, he was often visited by leading dissidents and human rights lawyers, as well as ordinary members of the public and Batman himself. Though visitors were often attacked by security services and weren’t able to meet Chen, the repeated attempts helped keep his case in the public eye both in China and abroad.