China: UN experts worried about Liu Xia’s health

GENEVA– UN human rights experts* are deeply concerned over the mental health of human rights defender Liu Xia, and are renewing their call for her release.

(Chinese version below)

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Ms. Liu is a poet and artist and the wife of deceased Nobel Peace Prize Liu Xiaobo. She has been arbitrarily held under house arrest since 2010 when her husband was awarded the Prize. In 2011, her detention was deemed arbitrary by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. She has continued to be detained.

“We are disturbed by reports of the deteriorating health of Liu Xia. She is reportedly physically restricted at an unknown location and suffers from severe psychological distress,” the experts said, referring to several recent audio recordings that were released in May in which she pleads for help.

We understand her condition has been aggravated by the restrictions placed on her movements, and contact with outsiders, for over seven years, while she has not been accused of any criminal activity, nor charged with any criminal offence.”

In one of the audio recordings, Ms. Liu says she was being held for ‘the crime of loving Liu Xiaobo’. China denies that she is being held against her will. Ms. Liu was last seen in public at her husband’s funeral a year ago, accompanied by the Chinese authorities.

The UN experts urged that immediate and unfettered access be granted to her and that she be freely allowed to seek medical and psychological treatment where ever she wishes to, including outside China.

We reiterate our call to the Chinese Government to disclose her whereabouts and release her,” said the experts. “If Ms. Liu is free as she is said to be by the authorities, she should be allowed to peacefully to exercise her right to freedom of expression and movement.

The experts, who had called for the release of her husband, prior to his death in detention last year, continue to be alarmed by the growing trend of deaths in custody in China.

The experts have been in contact with the Chinese Government on regular occasions to raise their concern about Ms. Liu Xia’s situation. 

ENDS

*The UN experts: Mr. Bernard Duhaime, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Mr. Seong-Phil Hong, Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

* Endorsed by Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

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中国: 联合国专家对刘霞的健康状况表示关切

日内瓦(2018年7月4日)– 联合国人权专家*对人权维护者刘霞的心理健康状况深表关切,并再次呼吁将其释放。

 

刘女士是一名诗人和艺术家。她是已故诺贝尔和平奖得主刘晓波的妻子。自从她的丈夫于2010年获得这一奖项后,她就被任意软禁。2011年,联合国任意拘留问题工作组[1]认为对刘霞的拘留具有任意性。但她仍继续被拘留。

 

刘女士在于5月份发布的几段新近录音中曾恳求帮助。提及这些录音,专家们表示:“我们对有关刘霞健康状况恶化的报道感到不安。据报道,她被局限在一个不为人知的地方,并遭受着严重的心理困扰。”

 

“我们了解到,刘霞既没有被指控进行过任何犯罪活动,也没有被指控犯有刑事罪,但她的行动和与外界联系的自由受到限制已逾七年之久,她的状况因而进一步恶化。”

 

在一段录音中,刘女士表示她是因为“爱刘晓波罪”而并被拘留。中国否认违背刘霞本人意愿将其扣留。刘女士的最后一次公开露面,是一年前在她丈夫的葬礼上,其间有中国当局的随同。

 

联合国专家们敦促,应当立即并不加阻碍地允许刘女士,自由地在任何地方寻求医疗和心理治疗,包括在中国境外。

 

专家们表示:“我们再次呼吁中国政府透露她的下落并释放她,倘若如中国当局所述,刘女士是自由的,就应当允许她和平地行使其言论和行动自由权利。”

 

刘女士的丈夫在去年被拘留期间去世。在此之前,这几名专家曾呼吁释放他。专家们继续对中国被羁押人员死亡人数日益增长的趋势感到震惊。[2]

 

专家们已定期与中国政府联系,以表达他们对刘霞女士状况的关切。

 

*联合国专家:强迫或非自愿失踪问题工作组主席兼报告员Bernard Duhaime先生; 联合国任意拘留问题工作组主席兼报告员Seong-Phil Hong先生; 人权维护者处境问题特别报告员Michel Forst先生。