Weak Liu out of sight

Top News | Jane Cheung and agencies 12 Jul 2018

Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, has arrived in Germany but remains physically weak and not able to face the public yet, according to her friend Su Yutong.

Su cited the German government as saying it would arrange for Liu to stay in an unspecified place, with doctors taking care of her, but she did not know her exact location.

Liu left the mainland on Tuesday after eight years under house arrest.

Her friend quoted German officials as saying they would do their best to protect Liu and make sure she stays away from the media.

Another friend, Liao Tianqi, said since Premier Li Keqiang is visiting Germany, Liu should not appear at any public event in the near future.

German human rights organizations and friends of the late Liu Xiaobo are planning to hold a memorial event in Germany tomorrow - the first anniversary of his death - but it remains to be seen if Liu will attend the event, Liao said.

On arrival at the airport, she got into a car on the apron and left without meeting the media.

Meanwhile, a prominent Chinese political campaigner was sentenced to 13 years in jail yesterday, a court in central China said.

Qin Yongmin was found "guilty of subversion of state power," the Wuhan City Intermediate People's Court said on its official website.

According to court records, it appears to be the heftiest sentence handed down in China for "subversion" in the past 15 years.

The 64-year-old, first jailed as a "counter-revolutionary" from 1981-1989, has already spent a total of 22 years behind bars.

At the time of his arrest in January 2015, Qin was head of the pro-democracy "China Human Rights Watch" group, which circulated online statements denouncing government policies, as well as organizing discussion groups.

Qin had "refused to cooperate with the court" and remained completely silent during his trial in May, lawyer Lin Qilei previously said.

His other lawyer, Liu Zhengqing, said he was in "despair" about the sentencing and "angry at the rogue regime" in the mainland.

"[We] will definitely appeal," he said.

According to the indictment, prosecutors cited Qin's writings on democracy as evidence, including a passage where he called on China's youth to fight for human rights protections according to United Nations treaties.

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com

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