Mainland authorities have tightened security near a funeral parlour in Shenyang, where the body of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo is expected to be cremated.
Police officers were stationed outside the parlour on Friday. Journalists were stopped from entering and were told to leave.
Mo Zhixu, a Chinese writer and activist who's a good friend of Liu, said authorities had asked Liu's family to cremate his body as soon as possible and scatter his ashes into the sea. But Liu's family was unwilling to do so.
As international media descended on the hospital that had been treating Liu, some locals appeared to be oblivious about the political prisoner.
Only one person among more than 20 questioned by AFP about Liu admitted knowing who he was.
"Who is he, an internet celebrity?" asked Liu Weiwu, a middle-aged shopkeeper near the hospital.
An RTHK reporter who visited the residential estate in Beijing where Liu Xia lives said there was no visible increase in 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)
Tight security near Shenyang funeral parlour
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