Chinese authorities have barred five Western diplomats from visiting the widow of the late Nobel laureate dissident Liu Xiaobo, diplomatic sources said today.
The diplomats' visit came following increased concern in recent days about Liu Xia's psychological health.
The diplomats, including a French and a German envoy, tried to visit her home on Friday morning but were turned away by officials at the gate to the complex, the sources said.
The guards checked the diplomats' identities before refusing them entry without giving a reason.
Despite the daily restrictions and surveillance faced by Liu Xia, Chinese authorities still maintain she is free.
Earlier this month reports emerged that Liu Xia had told friends she was ready to "die at home" in protest at her continuing detention by Chinese authorities.
Liu Xia's friends have told AFP she is taking medication for depression and has suffered from heart problems and fainting.
AFP reporters have tried to visit Liu's home multiple times in recent years, but were blocked each time by plainclothes men.
When asked earlier this month about western diplomatic calls for Liu Xia to travel abroad, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters: "But Liu Xia is a Chinese citizen. The relevant Chinese authorities will handle relevant issues in accordance with the law." Liu Xiaobo was a veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and was detained in 2008 after co-authoring Charter 08, a petition calling for democratic reforms.
He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for "subversion" but died in custody last July after authorities rejected his request to receive treatment abroad.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)