BEIJING — China on Monday blocked European officials from meeting with the wife of the jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner, cut off her phone communication and canceled meetings with Norwegian officials — acting on its fury over the award.
As China retaliated, U.N. human rights experts called on Beijing to free imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo, who was permitted a brief, tearful meeting with his wife, Liu Xia, on Sunday. Liu Xiaobo dedicated the award to the "lost souls" of the 1989 military crackdown on student demonstrators.
Liu, a slight, 54-year-old literary critic, is in the second year of an 11-year prison term for inciting subversion. In naming him, the Norwegian-based Nobel committee honored his more than two decades of advocacy of human rights and peaceful democratic change.
Beijing had reacted angrily to Friday's announcement honoring Liu, calling him a criminal and warning Norway's government that relations would suffer, even though the Nobel committee is an independent organization.