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'Nobel Peace prize winner gets better food'

Prison authorities have started giving Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo better food, the dissident's wife said today, while she herself faces restrictions on whom she can meet and must be accompanied by police escort whenever she leaves her home.

world Updated: Oct 12, 2010 13:37 IST

Prison authorities have started giving Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo better food, the dissident's wife said today, while she herself faces restrictions on whom she can meet and must be accompanied by police escort whenever she leaves her home.

The democracy campaigner's wife, Liu Xia, said in a rare phone interview with The Associated Press that her husband's brother told her that the prison started providing Liu Xiaobo with better food yesterday, serving him individually prepared food accompanied by rice rather than a portion of food cooked in a large pot for many prisoners, which is usually of poor quality.

There was no immediate indication that any other prison conditions faced by Liu had improved, however.

Authorities allowed the couple a brief, tearful meeting in prison Sunday. But Liu Xia said she and many of her friends have been under tight watch in the days since Friday when the award was announced.

Guards are posted outside her apartment in Beijing and she's not allowed to receive visits from anyone, other than her two brothers.

"I am not allowed to meet the press or friends. If I have to do any daily chores, like visiting my mother or buying groceries I have to go in their car (police car)," said Liu Xia, who was using a new cell phone brought to her by a brother after police rendered her old one unusable.

In naming him, the Norwegian-based Nobel committee honoured Liu's more than two decades of advocacy of human rights and peaceful democratic change from demonstrations for democracy at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989 to a manifesto for political reform that he co-authored in 2008 and which led to his latest prison term.