Peace Prize winner's wife placed under house arrest

Liu Xia detained after prison trip to tell her husband of Nobel award

The wife of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is under house arrest after a brief and emotional meeting with her husband, during which he dedicated his prize to the "lost souls" of the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in June 1989.

Liu Xia said on Twitter that she has been unable to make phone calls and told Human Rights in China that she was followed after she came back from visiting Mr Liu in Jinzhou, in Liaoning province, where he is serving 11 years in jail for subversion.

"This award is for the lost souls of 4 June," Mr Liu told his wife during the hour-long visit, saying that he had won the award because of the non-violent spirit of the protesters, who gave their lives for peace, freedom and democracy. He broke down in tears after delivering his message, she told the human rights group.

Mr Liu was jailed on Christmas Day last year for co-authoring "Charter 08", a manifesto for political reform. China is furious at the Nobel panel's decision, saying Mr Liu is a "criminal" and calling the award an obscene travesty that flies in the face of the spirit of the Nobel.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, however, criticised China's outraged reaction, saying the Chinese government does "not appreciate different opinions at all".

The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, told the Kyodo News agency in Tokyo that building an open, transparent society was "the only way to save all people of China" but that some "hardliners" in the Beijing leadership were stuck in the "old way of thinking".

Norway said Beijing has called off a meeting with the Norwegian fisheries minister, after the Chinese government had previously warned that giving the award to the 54-year-old literary critic would harm relations between the countries, even though the Nobel committee is an independent non-governmental body.

The Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, arrived in China yesterday for the World Expo in Shanghai, and was supposed to meet China's Vice-Minister for Fisheries tomorrow, but the Chinese cancelled the meeting.

Mr Liu is one of three people to have been awarded the prize while being jailed by their own government. The other two are Burma's Aung Sang Suu Kyi in 1991 and the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1935.

Leaders around the world including US President Barack Obama – last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner – have praised Mr Liu and called on the Chinese government to release him immediately.

Four United Nations human rights experts have also called for Mr Liu's release, saying he is a "courageous human rights defender who has continuously and peacefully advocated for greater respect for human rights" in China.

The independently appointed investigators – Frank La Rue, El Hadji Malick Sow, Margaret Sekaggya and Gabriela Knaul, whose brief is to examine issues ranging from breaches of the right to free speech to arbitrary detention – called on China to release Mr Liu and "all persons detained for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression".

Ms Liu said that her communications had been cut and that both her and her brother's mobile phones have been interfered with, and she has been told she would have to be accompanied by police if she wanted to leave the building.

Uniformed guards at Ms Liu's apartment building have stopped European diplomats from entering the complex.

"We were told that we could only go in if we called somebody from the inside and if they came out to meet us. But of course, we can't call Liu Xia, because it's impossible to get through to her phone," Simon Sharpe, the first secretary of political affairs of the EU delegation in China, said.

The Chinese newspaper, the Global Times, launched a broadside against the Oslo committee in an editorial.

"The Nobel committee once again displayed its arrogance and prejudice against a country that has made the most remarkable economic and social progress in the past three decades," the editorial ran. "In 1989, the Dalai Lama, a separatist, won the prize. Liu Xiaobo, the new winner, wants to copy Western political systems in China. They are trying to impose Western values on China ... China's success story speaks louder than the Nobel Peace Prize."

The censors have gone into overdrive to stop news of the award spreading. Messages on social networks are disappearing. Searches on the issue are blocked on most search engines by the system of controls known as the "Great Firewall of China".

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?