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After Liu Xiaobo’s Death, Let’s Work to Protect His Widow in Communist China

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It’s a cause that Republicans and Democrats alike, and the world, should honor.

Ted Cruz writes: Yesterday the world lost a hero of liberty and freedom. Liu Xiaobo, a voice for the voiceless and a defender of the oppressed in Communist China, passed away. Although the physical cause of his death was cancer, Dr. Liu’s primary battle was one of the soul. Ever since leaving the safety and comfort of America to lead the protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989, Dr. Liu sealed his fate as a persistent focus of persecution from the authoritarian PRC. From “reeducation through labor” and deprivation of property to unjust imprisonment and physical abuse, Dr. Liu bore the brunt of the Communist Party’s wrath for daring to challenge their system of political oppression by coauthoring of “Charter 08,” a manifesto of Chinese freedom that reverberates today more than ever.

Before his soul passed on from this world, Dr. Liu had one dying wish: to spend his final days with his wife Liu Xia in America. International physicians, including one from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, attested that Dr. Liu was fit to travel if released immediately. One man stood in the way of this final request: Xi Jinping. China has been known in select circumstances to release wrongfully imprisoned foreigners, and even the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un allowed Otto Warmbier to spend his final hours with his family. But something about Liu Xiaobo seemed particularly threatening to Xi and the apparatchiks in the Chinese Politburo. Perhaps it was his dignified commitment to speaking the truth about their regime in the face of every attempt on their part to silence him, something that Beijing has been so successful in doing with tens of millions of others since the founding of the PRC.

Although prevented from doing so during his 2009 sentencing, Liu Xiaobo was prepared to defend himself by claiming that “I have no enemies.” The power of nonviolent resistance has shown through the passing of time to strike terror into the heart of oppression, as evidenced by heroes Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. Today, Liu Xiaobo joins their ranks. And in this, Xi Jinping’s worst fear has become reality: Dr. Liu’s spirit and bravery in life will endure as an inspiration to the countrymen he so desperately sought to liberate. His dream of a free, democratic China will persist  … (read more)

Source: National Review

Liu’s ashes scattered after cremation

Shenyang Municipal Information Office / via Reuters Liu Xia, wife of deceased Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo, holds his picture during his funeral in Shenyang, China, in this photo released by Shenyang Municipal Information Office on Saturday.

Liu Xia, wife of deceased Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo, holds his picture during his funeral in Shenyang, China, in this photo released by Shenyang Municipal Information Office on Saturday. Shenyang Municipal Information Office / via Reuters

SHENYANG, China (Reuters) — Deceased Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo’s ashes were scattered at sea on Saturday, Liu’s brother said, in a move described by a family friend as an effort to erase any memory of him.

Liu, 61, died of multiple organ failure on Thursday in a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang, where he was being treated for late-stage liver cancer, having been given medical parole but not freed.

His widow, Liu Xia, has been under effective house arrest since her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, but had been allowed to visit him in prison about once a month. She has never been formally charged with any crime.

Speaking at a government-arranged news conference, Liu Xiaobo’s eldest brother Liu Xiaoguang offered thanks several times to the Communist Party for its thoughtful care considering the dissident’s “special situation.”

After speaking for about 20 minutes, Liu was escorted out by two unidentified women, an unlit cigarette in his mouth, and did not answer questions from journalists who surrounded him.

The government then showed reporters images of the ashes being scattered from a boat.

City government information official Zhang Qingyang said Liu Xia and Liu Xiaoguang had decided upon the scattering of ashes at sea.

But close friend and fellow dissident Hu Jia said the motivation behind the sea burial was so that there was “nothing to remember him by on Chinese soil” and so that supporters could not create a shrine to pay tribute to him.

Government official Zhang, speaking earlier, said Liu’s widow was “currently free,” adding that as a Chinese citizen, her rights would be protected under the law. Zhang did not say where Liu Xia currently was. A government statement said Mozart’s Requiem was played during the funeral, a work of music Mozart left unfinished on his death bed … (read more)

Source: The Japan News

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