No jail visits for Liu Xiaobo

The prison where the Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is held has suspended visits by his family, and his wife remains under house arrest a week after the award ceremony, a human rights group said yesterday.

Such new restrictions, if confirmed, would represent another punishment for Mr Liu and his family. Any suspension of visits also would contradict Chinese laws allowing all prisoners one family visit per month.

Mr Liu's brother, Liu Xiaoguang, told the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, based in Hong Kong, that the Jinzhou prison formally notified the family of the suspension recently. The rights centre announced it on the family's behalf.

The Chinese authorities kept dozens of Liu supporters from leaving the country to attend the Nobel ceremony in Oslo on 10 December, and put others under house arrest.