11 Oct 2010

China detains Nobel laureate's wife, says group

12:15 pm on 11 October 2010

An American human rights group is claiming that the wife of jailed Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Price laureate Liu Xiaobo has been detained in her home.

In a statement, Washington-based group Freedom Now said Liu Xia has not been allowed to leave her home or use her mobile telephone since visiting her husband in jail to tell him about his award.

Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for two decades of non-violent struggle over human rights, infuriating China, which called the award "an obscenity."

Liu Xiaobo cried when he heard the news and dedicated the award to "the Tiananmen martyrs," according to human rights group.

Liu has been in and out of jail since 1989, when he joined student protesters on a hunger strike days before the army crushed the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. He was jailed for 11 years in December for subversion of state power.

Liu Xia said on Friday she was being taken to visit her husband in jail but that police were preventing her from talking to reporters.

Freedom Now works worldwide for the release prisoners of conscience and provides free legal counsel.