Nobel laureate’s widow allowed to leave China for Europe

China lets Nobel widow leave for Berlin after house arrest

Widow of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo arrives in Germany

These are the first images of Liu as a free woman since she was placed under house arrest in 2010 after her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Liu Xia was never charged but was largely confined to her Beijing home. A few hours later, she was seen getting into a auto at Berlin's Tegel airport.

“It is wonderful news that Liu Xia is finally free and that her persecution and illegal detention at the hands of the Chinese authorities has come to an end, almost one year since Liu Xiaobos untimely and undignified death.

However, Poon voiced concern for her brother Liu Hui who is still in China and said she "might not be able to speak much for fear of her brother's safety".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is visiting Germany, a country that in May said it would welcome the widow after a recording was released of her crying in desperation and indicating she had lost hope of being able to leave China.

Her departure, following a year of pressure on the government from activists and worldwide human rights organizations, comes at the end of a visit to Germany by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

"Today at around 11:00 am, Liu Xia took a Finnair flight and left Beijing", friend Ye Du said.

After the Lunar New Year visit and the promise that she could soon be on a plane, Liu Xia began to despair when nothing had happened by April.

"Liu Xia has been kept isolated for so many years", Mr Wu said.

Through his ordeal, Liu Xia, 57, faced her own.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing that Ms Liu had gone to Germany to seek medical treatment in accordance with her wishes.

Liu Xia is an accomplished artist and poet who reluctantly followed her husband into politics two decades ago.

He had been sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of inciting subversion of state power.

Liu was awarded the Nobel on October 8, 2010.

But this does not herald an improvement in human rights, this diplomat said.

In a letter published previous year, Liu Xia wrote to a friend that she was "going mad" in her isolation, according to the AFP news agency.

Liu's friends said her psychological condition had steadily deteriorated, particularly since the death of her husband.

Liu Xiaobo was a writer and a prominent voice during the democratic movement which led to the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. "Dying is easier than living - there is nothing simpler for me than to protest with death".

"Sister has already left Beijing for Europe at noon to start her new life".

Authorities are still holding Liu Xia's brother, Liu Hui, who was convicted of fraud and imprisoned in a case supporters say was in retaliation against the attention given the Nobel laureate.

Officials at the German embassy in Beijing said they were unable to confirm the news when contacted by Reuters.

Liu Hui is in China. "China hopes to team up with Germany", he said.

China had criticized calls by Western governments for Liu's release as interference in its domestic affairs and insisted that Liu Xia was free. She was shown at his closely staged funeral dressed in black and wearing dark sunglasses as she clutched a photograph of her husband.

Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel dissident Liu Xiaobo, reacts as she arrives at the Helsinki International Airport in Vantaa, Finland, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. The first, Carl von Ossietzky, died of tuberculosis in Germany in 1938 while jailed for opposing Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

Merkel has spoken out frequently on Chinese human rights abuses and is believed to have pushed for Liu's release during her May visit to Beijing, where she met the wives of detained human rights lawyers.

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