Thu, Jul 12, 2018 - Page 6 News List

On the eve of freedom, a look inside Liu Xia’s flat

AFP, BEIJING

Retirees strolled through the leafy lanes with their teddy bear poodles, while a pair of women carried home shopping bags full of lychees and spring onions, toddlers in tow.

In the narrow entry to Liu Xia’s building, two dirty makeshift beds had been set up for those tasked to watch her around the clock. An elderly neighbor who had known Liu Xia and her parents for nearly two decades said he was not bothered by the security.

They helped to maintain “a quiet social order” and prevent hordes of journalists from rushing in, as had happened in the past, he said, adding that he sometimes encountered Liu while shopping or walking in the park, but had no real sympathy for her situation.

“Sure, a writer is just a writer, but you can’t interfere in your country’s interests. Every country has its rules and if you break them you have to pay up,” he said.

However, Liu Xia has been charged with no crime and told Liao in an emotional call that her only possible offense is “loving Liu Xiaobo.”

“In the long run, what political threat can she pose?” Liao asked. “She has been through so much, and been by Xiaobo’s side for so many years. No one has the right to ask her to do anything.”

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