Liu Xia, the wife of jailed dissident and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, has been admitted to a Beijing hospital after police refused to let her find overseas medical help, a family friend told SCMP on Thursday.
Liu Xia was placed under house arrest in 2010, the same year that her husband received the Nobel Peace Prize. She suffers from heart problems and other ailments including possible severe depression, and her health has deteriorated considerably during her time under guard, her friends said.
Liu Xia was admitted to a hospital for the second time this month, although it’s unclear how long she’ll stay, Mo Shaoping, a human rights lawyer and close family friend, told SCMP.
“Her family had proposed seeking medical treatment overseas but the police didn’t approve it,” Mo said. Liu’s family was told to seek medical help in Beijing, instead.
Ye Du, writer and friend to the Liu family, said that Liu Xia had spoke of heart problems when they talked on the phone recently. Another friend even said that she had suffered a heart attack.
“The environment that she’s been placed in, having been put under house arrest for so many years, is the main reason (for her worsening health), and they thought that going overseas was the only way they could fully guarantee that she will have good treatment,” Ye said.
In 2012, Chinese dissident Hu Jia and two more activists broke through the security cordon of Liu Xia and uploaded a video of the “emotionally shamed” detainee, who described her arrest to Associated Press journalists as being “absurd” and “unbelievable”.