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Liu Xia too weak to meet the media, says friend

2018-07-11 HKT 15:29
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A friend of Liu Xia who’s living in exile in Germany said on Wednesday he has met her and found that she’s in rather good spirit but was physically very weak.

Berlin-based dissident Liao Yiwu said he has been told by experts that it is not that Liu doesn’t want to meet the media, but she is just too weak to do so.

But he said she might be able to show up at a church on Friday.

Overnight on Tuesday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee issued a statement welcoming the release of Liu.

In a statement by the head of the Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen said Liu had committed no crime but still had to face hardship and suffering. "Her house arrest was an eight-year long punishment for her husband’s political activism," she said.

Reiss-Andersen reminded Liu that last year the committee had invited to come and receive the Peace Prize awarded to her the deceased husband Liu Xiaobo in 2010.

"It will be up to Liu Xia to decide the circumstances under which this will happen," Reiss-Andersen said.

After being allowed to leave China, Liu flew via Helsinki to Berlin, where she arrived just days before the first anniversary of her husband's death from liver cancer.

Yiwu and German Nobel laureate Herta Mueller were among a dozen people waiting to greet her at the airport, shouting out her name from the viewing terrace as she emerged from the aircraft.

But Liu immediately boarded a black van parked on the airfield tarmac and was whisked away without making any remarks.

Meanwhile the US State Department said it welcomed the news that Chinese authorities "allowed her to leave China as she long wished", but said it remains concerned about her brother and hopes he can join her in Germany. (Additional reporting by AP, AFP)