Antécédents de l'affaire Liu Xia
Le 10 juillet 2018, la poétesse et écrivaine Liu Xia a embarqué à bord d'un avion pour Berlin, en Allemagne, quittant ainsi le pays qui l'a maintenue en détention arbitraire pendant sept ans et demi. Liu Xia était strictement maintenue à l'isolement et surveillée depuis que son mari, le défenseur de la démocratie Liu Xiaobo, a reçu le prix Nobel de la Paix en 2010.
Liu Xia, peintre et photographe, est la femme du lauréat du Prix Nobel de la Paix 2010, M. Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo purge actuellement une peine de 11 ans de prison pour "incitation à la subversion du pouvoir de l'État".
Le 10 juillet 2018, la poétesse et écrivaine Liu Xia a embarqué à bord d'un avion pour Berlin, en Allemagne, quittant ainsi le pays qui l'a maintenue en détention arbitraire pendant sept ans et demi. Liu Xia était strictement maintenue à l'isolement et surveillée depuis que son mari, le défenseur de la démocratie Liu Xiaobo, a reçu le prix Nobel de la Paix en 2010. Pendant des années, malgré l'absence de toutes procédures judiciaires ou d'accusations criminelles à son encontre, Liu Xia avait l'interdiction de quitter son domicile, elle était coupée de ses amis, de sa famille et n'était autorisée à recevoir que de rares visites ou appels téléphoniques. Après le décès de Liu Xiaobo d'un cancer du foie en 2017, Liu Xia avait plusieurs fois demandé à quitter la Chine, notamment pour se rendre en Allemagne pour raisons médicales liées à une dépression. Bien que le gouvernement allemand ait fait part de son souhait d'accueillir la poétesse, les autorités chinoises rejetaient les demandes de Liu Xia de quitter le pays et maintenaient son isolement et sa restriction de circulation.
Front Line Defenders se joint à tous les supporters de Liu Xia à travers le monde pour célébrer sa libération des conditions oppressives de sa détention illégale et arbitraire, mais regrette qu'elle ait été obligée de quitter la Chine pour regagner sa liberté.
On 3 December 2013, three requests issued by Ms Liu Xia in relation to her house arrest were made public by Hong Kong-based human rights defender, Ms Zeng Jinyan.
On the morning of 3 December 2013, Zeng Jinyan posted on her blog three requests made to the Chinese government by Liu Xia. Zeng Jinyan has not disclosed how she received the information. These requests were as follows:
1. I request the right to consult a doctor freely.
2. I request that Liu Xiaobo and I are allowed the right to read the correspondence we write to eachother.
3. I request the right to work and receive an income.
In recent weeks, there has been increased concern regarding the mental health of Liu Xia, who is reportedly suffering from depression. According to Zeng Jinyan, Liu Xia is not willing to see a police-appointed doctor for fear of being interned in a psychiatric hospital, a punishment sometimes used by the Chinese authorities to silence human rights defenders. Regarding her second request, Liu Xia and Liu Xiaobo have not been permitted to read the letters they send to each other.
In June 2013, Liu Xia's brother, Mr Liu Hui, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for 'financial fraud', in a case widely considered as political retribution for the Liu family. Liu Xia had been financially dependent on her brother until his arrest. Since then, Liu Xia has struggled to support herself financially while her wider family has also been placed in financial difficulty due to the legal costs associated with Liu Hui's trial.
Front Line Defenders believes that the ongoing, extra-judicial house arrest of Liu Xia is a form of punishment for the human rights work carried out by her husband, Liu Xiaobo. Front Line Defenders is extremely concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Liu Xia.
Ms Liu Xia, the wife of human rights defender and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mr Liu Xiaobo, continues to be held under house arrest and largely incommunicado in her home in Beijing, one year after the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to her husband.
On 8 October 2010, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”. Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in December 2009 on charges of subversion of state power for the role he played in drafting Charter '08, a document calling for an end to one-party rule and its replacement by a system based on human rights and democracy. Liu Xia is a poet and a painter.
Following the announcement of the award in October 2010, limits were immediately placed on Liu Xia’s freedom. Security around her apartment was increased, preventing her from leaving. Since then, friends, diplomats and journalists who have attempted to visit her have all been turned away by police at the gates of her compound. Her mobile phone and internet access have been cut off and she has been mostly confined to her home. She was permitted to visit her husband once in prison in north-eastern China with a police escort in the days following the announcement of the award, but since then, regular visits have been denied. It has been recently reported that Liu Xia was allowed to visit Liu Xiaobo for a second time in August 2011.
Liu Xia was initially able to communicate with the outside world via Twitter, but her internet access appears to have been blocked on 18 October 2010. In a brief moment of connectivity during the Chinese New Year in February 2011, Liu Xia was reportedly able to send an online message to a friend saying, “Can’t go out. My whole family are hostages. So miserable. I’m crying. Nobody can help me.” This is believed to have been Liu Xia’s last contact with the outside world.
Front Line believes Liu Xia is being targeted solely due to the fact that she is married to Liu Xiaobo. She has not been accused or convicted of any crime.