China says Liu Xia went to Germany for medical treatment

Widow of Nobel dissident Liu Xiaobo has left China

Dissident Liu Xiaobo's widow 'allowed to leave China'

Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, has left China for Europe after eight years under de facto house arrest.

Through her husband's ordeal, Liu Xia, 57, faced her trials on her own.

She landed at Berlin's Tegel airport on Tuesday and was taken away by vehicle soon after she got off the plane. She unflinchingly supported Liu Xiaobo but never actively participated in his campaigns. I'm grateful for those who cared about her and helped her all these years.

Patrick Poon from Amnesty International said it was "really wonderful that Liu Xia is finally able to leave China after suffering so much all these years".

News of her release came just a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met in Berlin, stressing their shared commitment to free trade in what some observers saw as a message to U.S. President Donald Trump. "We couldn't save Liu Xiaobo, which is a regret that I will carry for the rest of my life, and we wouldn't have been able to bear it if anything had happened to his widow".

Mr Ye said he was informed of Ms Liu's departure by her older brother.

On Chinese social media, some are expressing their happiness for her-obliquely, of course, so as to avoid censorship.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a news conference that Liu Xia had gone to Germany to seek medical treatment in accordance with her wishes.

She was an effervescent young poet, painter and photographer; he a public intellectual.

China sentenced Liu Xiaobo in December 2009 to 11 years in prison on charges of inciting subversion of state power after he helped write a manifesto calling for political and economic liberalisation.

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Liu was awarded the Nobel on October 8, 2010. State security assigned guards around-the-clock outside her Beijing home and restricted her access to the internet and the outside world, allowing her only occasional phone calls with a small circle of friends.

She first met Liu Xiaobo in the 1980s and then again after his release from prison for his role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, according to the global rights watchdog.

"Neither her mental condition nor her physical condition are ideal".

"Liu Xia was never a political person, and yet, for nearly eight years enormous misery was heaped upon her by Chinese authorities for the crime of merely having married her husband", Genser said in a statement Tuesday.

Liu's late husband, Liu Xiaobo was a renowned writer and activist. "It would be easier to die than to live". During this visit, Merkel had reportedly pressed China on human rights - particularly about the case of Liu Xia. The U.S. tally of China's political prisoners stood at more than 1,400 in November. Su Yutong, a family friend based in Germany, also confirmed her departure. Handed an 11-year jail sentence for fraud in 2013, Liu Hui was later released but remained monitored, according to friends of the family.

Efforts to secure Liu Xia's departure came amid growing concern over her health and state of mind, after Liao Yiwu, a dissident and friend living in Germany, released details of a telephone conversation in April in which an anguished Liu Xia said she was losing hope of leaving.

Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer last July while under government custody, prompting renewed calls for Liu Xia's release. She was shown at his closely staged funeral dressed in black and wearing dark sunglasses as she clutched a photograph of her husband.

On a rainy night in the summer of 2012, Hu stood outside Liu's apartment and aimed a laser pointer at the window of her study. The first, Carl von Ossietzky, died of tuberculosis in Germany in 1938 while jailed for opposing Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

Memorial events to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's death on Friday are planned in cities around the world including Hong Kong, Taipei and Berlin.

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