Liu Xia remains missing following the death of her husband, Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. Her family have voiced concerns over her health.

Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident known for co-writing the democratic manifesto “Charter 08”, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 for “subversion.” He died of liver cancer on July 13 at a hospital in northeast China whilst on medical parole.

His wife, a poet, has been under house arrest since 2010. Chinese doctors said that Liu Xia was by her husband’s side when he died, and she was seen at his funeral in Shenyang on July 15. Her whereabouts since then remain unknown.

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A placard bearing the face of Liu Xia. File Photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

On Tuesday, the Information Centre of Human Rights and Democracy cited one of Liu Xia’s family members as saying that she and her brother had yet to return home, and were under round-the-clock surveillance by police.

The family member also said that Liu developed heart disease three years ago and goes for monthly check-ups at the hospital. They expressed concern over whether the authorities had made the appropriate arrangements since her husband’s death.

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Liu Xiaobo (left) and his wife Liu Xia. Photo: Nobel Committee.

Liu Hui’s phone remained disconnected and updates about Liu Xia were being passed through a middleman, the family member said.

UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein earlier said that he plans to meet with Chinese officials to push for assurances that Liu Xia will be allowed to leave China. China is also under pressure from the United States and the European Union to let Liu leave the country.

Karen cheung hong kong

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.