Wife of China Nobel winner pleads for eased house arrest

Wife of China Nobel winner pleads for eased house arrest
Wife of China Nobel winner pleads for eased house arrest

BEIJING - The wife of China's jailed dissident Nobel peace laureate is pleading for authorities to ease the conditions of her house arrest, fellow activists said Tuesday, adding her mental state was "very bad".

Liu Xia's husband Liu Xiaobo was jailed in 2009 for 11 years and won the international prize the next year, and she has been under strict surveillance at their flat in Beijing but has not been charged with any offence.

In a brief and rare public statement Liu Xia said she sought three rights: to consult an independent doctor, to access letters she and her husband exchanged, and to earn an income.

The note was posted on the blog of Zeng Jinyan, the wife of another prominent dissident, Hu Jia.

Hu confirmed to AFP that his wife obtained the information but declined to say how for fear of possible consequences.

Liu Xia has suffered increasing depression since 2009 but getting Chinese medical attention could force her to enter a mental hospital, Hu said.

"Liu Xia's mental state is very bad," he told AFP. "Ever since Liu Xiaobo was jailed she suffered slight depression, and after Liu Xiaobo won the prize and she lost her freedom, her depression became more severe.

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