China activists break security cordon around Liu Xia
By Robert Saiget ,AFPBEIJING -- Dramatic video footage emerged Monday of one of China's top dissidents breaking through a security cordon to reach the wife of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who is herself under house arrest.
January 1, 2013, 12:59 am TWN
The 4-minute 12-second video, posted on YouTube, is shot in Liu Xia's apartment building in Beijing and represents a daring affront to the authorities.
It also illustrates the level of fear under which she lives, according to activists who say her detention is illegal.
A security official is shown telling leading dissident Hu Jia, who first came to prominence fighting for the rights of victims of an HIV scandal, and two other activists: “Who are you looking for?”
Told they want to see Liu Xia, who has been held under house arrest since her husband won the peace prize in October 2010, he replies firmly: “No, no, that's not possible.”
“Who are you to tell us it's not possible?” comes the response, before the group push past him, forcing their way through to the staircase before climbing to her apartment.
It was the first time in more than two years that friends have been able to see Liu, who has not been charged with any offence.
She appears emotionally shaken by the visit and is seen asking the visitors to leave, apparently out of fear of retribution from the authorities who have ordered her house arrest.
“You have to go, or they will come and bring trouble,” she says at one point.
Mostly she whispers in the ear of one of the activists so that the camera will not pick up her words.
In between sobs and smiles, the rights campaigners — including Hu and respected academics Xu Youyu and Hao Jian — agree to leave after a brief stay.
All three signed Charter 08, a bold petition for the protection of human rights issued in 2008.
“Let's be quick, we have to leave before they come up,” says one, as pounding on the door signals the arrival of security guards.