Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, who is under house arrest in Beijing, is suffering from heart disease and is awaiting treatment, according to a family friend.
Liu Xia, 53, was rushed to a Beijing hospital several days ago, where doctors diagnosed a heart malfunction, which required further treatment, a family friend said.
She has been awaiting further treatment, the person said. Mo Shaoping, a lawyer close to the family, said Liu stayed at a hospital in the capital’s Shijingshan district for one day in the beginning of February.
She was scheduled to stay at the hospital for at least a week, but the hospital decided against keeping her there.
“Some four or five policemen escorted her,” said Mo. “When [the hospital staff] saw them, they decided not to keep her for treatment,” he said.
Mo said that the Liu family was currently looking for another hospital that was willing to admit her.
He declined to comment on the nature of Liu’s illness. “Her physical health is bad, as is her mental state,” he said.
Liu Xia has been under house arrest without formal charges ever since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy of civil liberties in China in 2010, a year after he was sentenced to an 11-year prison sentence on charges of subversion of state power.
Family friends have repeatedly expressed concern over Liu Xia’s mental state after spending years in almost complete isolation.
In December, supporters said that she was suffering from depression. The founding member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre was last seen in two videos secretly shot at her apartment in December reciting two poems in front of a camera.
She last saw her husband in mid-January, according to Mo, the lawyer.
A visit to jailed Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo's wife
Liu Xia, jailed Nobel Prize winner’s wife, reads poems in a secret video