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15 July 2017

Liu Xiaobo: Chinese dissident cremated in private ceremony

Liu Xia crying with other mourners beside her husband's coffinImage copyright
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Mr Liu’s widow (R) attended the ceremony alongside other mourners

Chinese activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has been cremated in a private ceremony.

Mr Liu, who had been serving an 11-year prison term for “subversion”, died of liver cancer on Thursday.

He was China’s most prominent dissident and critic.

His wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize but she attended his funeral in Shenyang, the city where he was treated for liver cancer.

An official said that Mr Liu’s remains were cremated “in accordance with local customs and the wishes of the family”.

Mozart’s Requiem was played at the ceremony, he said.

Photographs shared by local authorities showed Mrs Liu and other mourners beside Mr Liu’s open coffin, which was surrounded by white chrysanthemums, a symbol of grief in China.

She was visibly distressed.

The same official said he believed Mrs Liu had been freed, but Mr Liu’s lawyer, Jared Genser, rejected this claim and said Mrs Liu had been held “incommunicado” since her husband’s death.

“The world needs to mobilise to rescue her – and fast,” he wrote in a statement. On Friday, the committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize said it was “deeply worried” about her and urged China to free her.

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