The wife of jailed Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo has written an open letter to President Xi Jinping, questioning the legality of her detention and her brother's imprisonment - and urging him to ensure his "Chinese dream" does not translate into a "Chinese nightmare" for ordinary citizens.
In a poignant, hand-written letter dated June 12, which was posted in Twitter photos by her lawyer, Shang Baojun, yesterday, she said: "Nobody has given me a reason for my detention … maybe in this country, being Liu Xiaobo's wife is a kind of crime."
Liu Xia has been living in solitude since her jailed husband won the Nobel Prize in October 2010. Placed under round-the-clock house arrest with no access to the internet or phones, her friends are barred from visiting.
She said the 11-year sentence handed down to her younger brother just days ago was "totally unjust". Her husband was also jailed for 11 years in 2009 on subversion charges for co-authoring the Charter 08 manifesto that called for sweeping reforms and democracy.
On Sunday, her brother Liu Hui, 43, was convicted of defrauding a contractor of 3 million yuan (HK$3.76 million) with a business partner.
Liu Xia, who is close to her brother, broke down in tears when she heard the verdict.
Liu Hui insisted he was a victim of retaliation by the authorities who resented two visits to his sister in recent months by reporters and activists who broke the security cordon around her.
"What we should see from state authority is justice, and not ruthless suppression based on violence," Liu Xia wrote.
"Every case of abuse of an individual's rights … overshadows the aura of the state authority's legitimacy.
"Mr President, your 'Chinese dream' should be manifested in every citizen. I hope this Chinese dream will not turn into a 'Chinese nightmare' for individuals like me."
Since becoming president in March and head of the Communist Party last year, Xi has touted his "Chinese dream" - his vision of a strong and prosperous nation.