Family of Chinese Activist Liu Xiaobo Thanks Beijing for 'Humanitarian Sprit'

Vincent Carr
July 16, 2017

China cremated its only Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, on Saturday, and hastily poured his ashes into the ocean off north-eastern China but allowed only his widow and a few other mourners to bid farewell to the man who was also the country's most famous political prisoner. Zhang said that the dissident was cremated in a "private" ceremony under tight security.

Liu Xiaobo's older brother, Liu Xiaoguang, said at a news conference organised by the authorities that the government had followed the family's wishes.

The 68-year-old brother said throughout the whole process starting with the treatment, cremation and scattering of ashes at sea, everything reflects the advantage of the socialist system and leading experts from home and overseas gathered together for Liu Xiaobo's treatment.

At Liu Xiaobo's funeral, Liu Xia "fixed her eyes on him a long time, mumbling to say farewell", Zhang said, adding that she was "in very low spirits".

Chinese authorities on Saturday said that Liu Xia, the widow of late Nobel Peace laureate and dissident Liu Xiaobo, is free, although her close friends said she is under surveillance and that they have been unable to contact her.

Liu Xiaobo, 61, died from liver cancer on Thursday following severe multiple organ failure.

"It is deplorable how the Chinese government has forced the family to cremate Liu Xiaobo, bury him at sea, and then coerced Liu's brother to make robotic statements to the media about the great care of the government and superiority of its health care system", Jared Genser, a U.S. lawyer who represented Liu, told AFP.

Liu Xiaoguang said Liu Xia was in "weak condition" and experiencing such "great sorrow" and that she may need hospital treatment.

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A government statement said Mozart's Requiem was played during the funeral, a work of music Mozart left unfinished on his death bed.

"They are likely still to be under the watch and control of authorities", Mo said. "The cremation is as per local customs respecting relatives' wishes, " Zhang Qingyang, spokesperson for Shenyang's information office, said.

Liu Xia, a poet, stood with her brother, and two of Liu Xiaobo's brothers in front of the body, which was covered with white petals.

Rights groups and Western governments have mourned Liu Xiaobo's death and urged authorities to grant freedom of movement to his wife and the rest of his family.

China, however, said the case remained an internal matter.

Efforts should also focus on Liu Hui, the younger brother of Liu Xia, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2013 for fraud and to whom Liu Xia is very close, Mr Hu said.

Liu was the first to die in state custody since 1938.

The last Nobel Peace Prize victor to live out his dying days under state surveillance was Carl von Ossietzky, a pacifist who died in Berlin in Nazi Germany in 1938.

Other reports by BadHub

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