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Wife allowed to meet jailed Chinese Nobel winner

BEIJING — An imprisoned Chinese dissident who won this year's Nobel Peace Prize was allowed to meet Sunday with his wife and told her in tears that he was dedicating the award to victims of a 1989 military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, his wife and a close friend said.

Liu Xia, the wife of democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo said in a Twitter message that his jailers had informed him a day earlier of his prize. "Brothers, I have returned," Liu wrote. "Seen Xiaobo, the prison told him the news about his award on the night of the 9th."

The Twitter message was verified by a close friend and dissident Wang Jinbo, who wrote in another Twitter message that Liu Xia had told him she was unable to meet the media or friends because of tight security. Wang declined to be interviewed.

Half a dozen men blocked the entrance to Liu's apartment in Beijing on Sunday night, ordering reporters out of the compound. A U.S. group that serves as Liu Xiaobo's international counsel, Freedom Now, deplored Liu Xia's detention in her own home.

In naming him on Friday, the Norwegian-based Nobel committee honored Liu's more than two decades of advocacy of human rights and peaceful democratic change — from demonstrations for democracy at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989 to a manifesto for political reform that he co-wrote in 2008 and which led to his latest jail term.

Wang said Liu Xiaobo told his wife during the visit that the prize "goes first" to those who died in the June 4, 1989, military crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen. "Xiaobo was in tears," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities continued to step up pressure on activists and Liu's supporters. The son of Beijing-based activist Wang Lihong said police told him Wang was being detained for eight days after taking part in a brief demonstration Friday at a park after the news that Liu had been awarded the peace prize.

Some of China's most prominent activist lawyers said Saturday they were being harassed by police as they took advantage of the prize to try to reconcile differences among themselves. Lawyers Pu Zhiqiang, Jiang Tianyong and others said they were not allowed to leave their homes.

Wife allowed to meet jailed Chinese Nobel winner 10/10/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 10, 2010 9:28pm]
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