China's government is responsible for the "enforced disappearance" of late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo's widow, her US-based lawyer said on Wednesday in a formal complaint filed to the United Nations.
Liu died of liver cancer last month, making him the first Nobel Peace Prise laureate to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1938, who had been held by the Nazis.
His widow, poet Liu Xia, 56, was followed around the clock by security officials, and has not been in touch with anyone since about a day before her husband's death, her US-based lawyer, Jared Genser, said in a statement to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
Liu Xia has been "held incommunicado in an unknown location by Chinese government authorities" since July 15, the day of her husband's funeral, the lawyer's statement said.
"I demand that Chinese authorities immediately provide proof that Liu Xia is alive and allow her unhindered access to her family, friends, counsel, and the international community," said Genser.
He said international law defined "enforced disappearances" as situations where government officials are involved in depriving a person of her freedom against her will, and refuse to acknowledge that deprivation or conceal the disappeared person's fate – stating that all such conditions had been met in Liu Xia's case.
The US, the European Union, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have called on Beijing to free Liu Xia, who had been under house arrest since her husband won the Nobel prize seven years ago.
Beijing authorities have said she is a free citizen, but too grief-stricken since her husband's death.
Several overseas concern groups on Thursday also urged Beijing to release Liu Xia. The alliance demanded that Beijing free Liu Xia and her brother and allow them to leave the mainland as soon as possible. (RTHK, AFP)
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