05/17/2018, 14.48
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World-renowned writers call for Liu Xia’s freedom (video)

Amnesty International and Pen America launch a campaign. Artists and writers read poems by Liu Xiaobo's wife. As her mental health worsens, “there seems to be nothing left in her”.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – "For me the future is/a closed window” says ‘Fragment 8’, a poem by Liu Xia, recited by world renown writers and artists in the #FreeLiuXia campaign launched by Amnesty International and Pen America.

By reading her writings, artists ask for the release of their fellow poet, whose psychological state is worsening from day to day. Supporters include Rita Dove, J M Coetzee, Paul Auster and Khaled Hosseini.

“Liu Xia’s cry for freedom resonates around the world and rebukes the Chinese government’s hollow claim that she is free,” said Suzanne Nossel, chief executive of PEN America.

Liu Xia, 57, has been under house arrest since 2010, when her husband Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Prize. She has not been charged with anything.

Liu Xiaobo died in prison from liver cancer after he was convicted of "subversion of state power" for co-drafting the pro-democracy Charter 08.

The pain for the loss of her husband and the years of segregation have taken a toll on her mental state. “She is extremely helpless and hopeless now,” said Ye Du, a poet and friend to Liu Xiaobo.  

“The extended house arrest has wrecked her to a point now that there seems to be nothing left in her,” Ye said, calling her psychological condition “fairly awful”.

Liu Xia told her friend, the exiled Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, during a phone conversation on 30 April, that she was "ready to die".

Chinese officials have maintained that Liu Xia is free, notwithstanding the daily restrictions and surveillance she faces. On 11 May, five European diplomats were barred from seeing her.

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