2017: China: Liu Xia

In deep concern for the health and well-being of poet and artist Liu Xia, Norwegian PEN calls for all restrictions upon her to be lifted immediately and unconditionally if, as it is feared, she remains under unofficial house arrest.

His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China

Oslo, 08.08.2017

Your Excellency,

We in Norwegian PEN are, together with PEN members all over the world, lamenting the death of writer and Nobel Laureate Liu Xiabo. Following his death, we hoped to see that the restrictions placed on his wife Liu Xia would be lifted. As far as we know, this has not happened. We have reports saying that attempts to contact her have been prevented by the Chinese authorities, despite assertions that she is free.

In deep concern for the health and well-being of poet and artist Liu Xia, Norwegian PEN calls for all restrictions upon her to be lifted immediately and unconditionally if, as it is feared, she remains under unofficial house arrest.

Since Liu Xia was placed under unofficial house arrest without charge or legal due process, we allow ourselves to point out that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Chinese authorities are obliged to “refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose”. The treaty provides for freedom of legitimate expression, the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right to a fair trial.

We hope that Liu Xia will be granted her rights and will get a fair chance to take up a normal life after all she has been going through.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Brit Bildøen                                                         William Nygaard
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee         President

COPY: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs