An academic said on Friday that reports that mainland authorities are looking to scatter Liu Xiaobo's ashes into the sea indicate that Beijing is trying to avoid a grave becoming a monument for future protests.
Senior broadcast journalism lecturer at Baptist University, Bruce Lui Ping-kuen, said if there was a formal funeral for Liu, it may attract a large crowd. So that is why the authorities are asking the families of both Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia to keep it a low profile event.
Sources close to Liu's family had earlier told RTHK that mainland authorities are looking at scattering Liu Xiaobo's ashes into the sea after his cremation.
A China researcher for rights group, Amnesty International, Patrick Poon, said the mainland wants to limit the amount of media attention on Liu Xia.
“Liu Xia’s receiving a lot of attention now. She may have a chance to receive the Nobel Peace Price on behalf of Liu Xiaobo, if she has a chance to go abroad."
Poon believes it's unlikely that Liu Xia will be able to leave the mainland any time soon.
"The government doesn’t want such media attention on her again. So I would doubt whether the government would really be so humane to let her leave at this moment,” he said.
Poon said it shows that the mainland has little respect for Liu's family.
“He passed away last night. Now they’re talking about doing the cremation and also scattering the ashes. This shows very little respect to Liu Xiaobo and his family."
“We really urge the Chinese government to remember now they’re playing a very important role in the international community. So they’re actually telling the world they just want to show cruelty or they want to show respect to Liu Xiaobo’s family,” he told RTHK's Janice Wong.