Nobel laureate and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo received a visit from his brothers in prison after being granted permission to do so for the first time in 13 months.

On August 4, Liu met with his three brothers at the prison in Jinzhou, Liaoning Province where he is incarcerated, according to The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

They were separated by a glass partition and talked for about an hour under the surveillance of police, who interrupted them whenever sensitive topics came up during conversation.

The centre reported that Liu appeared to be in good health and that he mostly spent his time reading and exercising. He was kept in solitary confinement and was not allowed to communicate with other prisoners.

Liu Xiaobo’s brother Liu Xiaoguang said that the Chinese human rights activist remained optimistic and was very concerned about political changes in China. He said Liu Xiaobo was doubtful that his sentence would be reduced. He has three years left of his sentence.

Liu Xiaoguang also criticised the authorities for not allowing Liu Xiaobo to communicate with his family, saying it was against the law.

Liu Xiaobo.

In 2009, Liu Xiaobo was convicted of inciting subversion of state power in China and is currently serving a 11-year sentence. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.