Wife meets China's jailed Nobel peace laureate: activists | world | Hindustan Times
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Wife meets China's jailed Nobel peace laureate: activists

world Updated: Oct 10, 2010 19:58 IST

AFP
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The wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo on Sunday met her jailed husband, activists said, apparently to inform him he had won the prestigious award amid a media blackout in China.

The couple met this afternoon, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in a faxed statement, citing Liu Xiaobo's mother-in-law.

Liu, the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Peace Prize, is a 54-year-old writer imprisoned since December after authoring Charter 08, a manifesto signed by thousands seeking greater rights in the communist nation.

Immediately after he was announced the winner on Friday, his wife Liu Xia told AFP that police were arranging to take her to Liu's prison in northeast China, where she hoped to inform him of the award.

Since then her mobile phone has been switched off and her whereabouts unknown.

Liu Xiaobo's lawyers have also been unable to contact the Beijing-based Liu Xia since she disappeared into police custody Friday night.

"We have been unable to contact her, so we do not know where she is," lawyer Ding Xikui told AFP.

"We are concerned about her safety. We believe that they (police) are taking her to see Liu Xiaobo, but we have no way of confirming this."

Liu is serving an 11-year jail sentence for subversion at Jinzhou prison in the northeast province of Liaoning.

Roads to the prison were blocked by police today, with only officials or residents allowed into a large area around the jail.

Police and officials at the roadblock refused to tell journalists why they were not permitted to approach the prison and politely urged them to leave the area. Telephones at the prison went unanswered.

Liu is one of three people to have been awarded the prize while being jailed by their own government. The other two are Myanmar's Aung Sang Suu Kyi in 1991 and German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1935.

The selection of Liu as this year's laureate has enraged the Chinese government, which called the dissident a "criminal" and slammed the award as a violation of Nobel ideals and a discredit to the Peace Prize.

Leaders around the world including US President Barack Obama -- last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner -- lauded the 2010 winner and called on the Chinese government to release him immediately.