A year after his death, Liu Xiaobo is still taboo for Beijing
All attempts at commemoration blocked. Activists detained in their homes or forced to leave. In Hong Kong, a march and a vigil in memory of the activist. Liu Xia will not be at the commemoration in Berlin: fears of repercussions for her brother.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A year after the death of Liu Xiaobo, Beijing still imposes silence on the name and memory of the late Nobel Peace Prize winner. While hundreds of people celebrate or prepare to celebrate his memory around the world, the Chinese authorities stop activists and block any attempt to commemorate his death.
Liu Xiaobo was 61 and was in jail since 2009: he was left to die from liver cancer by the Chinese authorities. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, the pro-democracy dissident had been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his contribution to the pro-democracy manifesto "Charter 08". His ashes were scattered in the sea, in a private ceremony.
As happened last year, the Chinese authorities are hindering any attempt toc commemorate Liu Xiaobo. Last year, many activists went to the beach in protest. Because of this, the Chinese authorities are now preventing them from approaching the shores. One of them is Hu Jia, a dissident from Beijing, who is forced to remain in the Chongli district. " “I will be at the hotel where I was put, will find an empty chair to put Xiaobo’s photo, and will light a candle and place a flower to quietly remember him,” Hu said. Wei Xiaobing, another activist, was forced to leave Guangdong and return to his hometown of Chengdu.
In Hong Kong - a former British colony that enjoys greater freedom than mainland China - about 20 people dressed in black and white marched to the representative office of relations with China. The activists wore posters depicting Liu Xiaobo's smiling face and demanding the release of Qin Yongmin (see photos 2 and 3). Tonight, a vigil will be held at the Tamar park. In Taiwan, an island that China claims as its territory, supporters of Liu Xiaobo will unveil a statue in his memory.
A great commemoration will take place tonight in Berlin, where several Chinese exiles live. The German capital has also hosted Liu Xiaobo's widow, Liu Xia, a 57-year-old poet, who has been under house arrest in Beijing for eight years without formal charges. The dissident's wife will not be present at the memorial. Yesterday, the doctors advised her against public appearances. However, according to his friends, the reason for the decision is the control that Beijing exercises on the woman through her brother Liu Hui, held in China as a "hostage". The widow will remember her husband in private, with a quiet "spiritual conversation".