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China decries Nobel; wife detained

world Updated: Oct 12, 2010 00:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The wife of Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is under house arrest with her mobile phone communication cut-off. Outside her guarded compound, European diplomats were barred from meeting her to present a letter of congratulations as Beijing seethed over the international acclaim for Liu.

Clampdown continued on dissident supporters of Liu as Beijing expressed anger at the prize through media and diplomatic channels. The state-run China Daily said the prize was 'part of a plot to contain China'.

Beijing, which had warned Norway that ties would suffer if Liu won the prize, cancelled a meeting scheduled for Wednesday between visiting Norwegian Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen and her Chinese counterpart. Norway called this an "unnecessary reaction".

Liu's lawyer Shang Baojun, said that he had been unable to contact his wife Liu Xia. "I don't have any direct news," said Shang. "She's probably at home with communications cut off, under surveillance. She's called it house arrest."

On Sunday, Liu Xia tweeted that she had been allowed to meet her husband in the prison. A dissident posted a Twitter message that Xiaobo had been in tears when he met her, and dedicated his Prize to those who died in the military crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy protestors at Tiananmen Square.

Four United Nations human rights experts issued a statement on Monday, urging for the release of the 54-year-old literature professor who is serving an 11-year sentence. The Dalai Lama who had supported the nomination, said that the Chinese government must 'build an open, transparent society'. (With Agency inputs)