A lawyer who has been providing legal counselling to both Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, has called on China to immediately allow access to her.
Jared Genser, who is based in Washington, said he had been in touch with the couple over the last few days and said they were denied privacy in the Nobel laureate's last few hours.
“He was not able to see family, friends and others who wanted to say their farewell to Liu Xiaobo. There was even a Chinese security guard in their hospital room 24/7. They couldn’t have even privacy as husband and wife before he died,” Genser told the BBC.
“I am really demanding today that the international community be given access to Liu Xia,” the lawyer said.
Genser said he began working with the couple in mid 2010. He said Liu Xia has been kept under illegal detention as there is no law in China to keep someone under house arrest.
He said as she has never been charged with anything, the authorities should give her a passport and allow her to travel anywhere she wants to go.
“More importantly I very much want her wishes for the burial for her husband to be fully honoured. Wherever she wants to bury him,” Genser said.
The doctors at the Shenyang hospital where Liu Xiaobo was treated, said Liu Xia was by her husband's side when he lost his battle with liver cancer.
Liu's main doctor said he was able to say goodbye to his wife and in his final moments told her to "live well".
An RTHK reporter who visited the residential estate in Beijing where Liu Xia lives said there was no visible increase of security there. But several people, believed to be plain clothed police officers, were stationed as usual near the block where her flat is located. (Additional reporting by AFP)
Last updated: 2017-07-14 HKT 14:56
Lawyer calls for immediate access to Liu Xia
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