Wife of China's jailed Nobel Laureate Liu hospitalized

Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:06pm EST
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By Sui-Lee Wee

BEIJING (Reuters) - The wife of jailed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo has been admitted to a Beijing hospital after police refused to allow her to seek medical help overseas, a close family friend said on Thursday.

Liu Xia, who has been under effective house arrest since her husband Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, suffers from heart problems, possibly severe depression, and other ailments made worse during her time under guard, her friends say.

She was admitted to another hospital earlier this month under heavy police guard but the hospital told her to leave after a day without giving a reason, said Mo Shaoping, a prominent human rights lawyer and a close family friend.

Liu Xia was admitted to the second hospital on Tuesday but it is unclear how long she will remain there because her family has been told by police not to disclose details about her condition and whereabouts, Mo said.

"Her family had proposed seeking medical treatment overseas but the police didn't approve it," Mo said. It was then that Liu's family was told to find treatment for her in Beijing.

In December, Liu Xia's friends said she refused to seek medical help because she is afraid of further punishment.

Liu, who has not been convicted of any crime, is rarely allowed out of her home, except for occasional visits to her husband and family, and is almost never permitted visitors.

Ye Du, a writer and a friend, said Liu told him of her heart problems when they spoke recently by telephone.   Continued...

Pro-democracy activist Lui Yuk-lin posts a picture of Liu Xia, the wife of jailed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, on a wall during a protest calling for the freeing of Chinese dissidents outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong in this December 5, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/Files