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Widow of Nobel dissident Liu Xiaobo has left China: friend

AFP  |  Beijing 

Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel dissident Xiaobo, has left and is on a plane out of the country, according to a friend familiar with the situation.

has been held under de facto house arrest -- despite no charges -- since 2010, when her husband received the Nobel Peace Prize, in a move that angered

"Today at around 11:00 am, took a flight and left Beijing," friend said.

Liu Xiaobo, a veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, died last year while serving an 11-year jail sentence for "subversion", making him the first Nobel laureate to die in custody since the era of Nazi

Liu faced daily restrictions on movement and surveillance even after her husband's death, although Chinese authorities maintained she was free.

Several Western diplomats tried to visit her at her apartment in May amid concerns over her psychological health but were refused entry without explanation.

In an emotional phone call with her close friend Chinese recently, said, "they should add a line to the constitution: 'Loving Liu Xiaobo is a serious crime -- it's a life sentence'." The had offered in April to help travel to but the move did not take place.

The move comes a day after Chinese met German

In May, dozens of the world's leading writers and artists, from to and Khaled Hosseini, called on to release her to seek medical treatment abroad.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 11:00 IST