Liu Xiaobo’s brother-in-law arrested in China
The brother-in-law of Liu Xiaobo, China’s imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been arrested in what human rights lawyers claim is another act of political vengeance against his family.
Malcolm Moore By Malcolm Moore, Beijing4:18PM GMT 29 Mar 2013
Liu Hui was detained for fraud at the end of January and charged two weeks ago, according to his lawyer, Mo Shaoping, who said the family had decided not to publicise the arrest at the time in order to avoid further ill will from the Chinese authorities.
It was the second time that Mr Liu had been arrested, after having spent six months in detention last year in relation to the same case – a property dispute in the south of China.
Mr Mo, his lawyer, said the dispute had already been resolved and there was little evidence of any crime.
Human rights lawyers suggested that Mr Liu’s arrest was another vindictive act against Liu Xiaobo, who is serving eleven years for inciting subversion, and his wife, Liu Xia, who is living under unofficial house arrest.
“This is all related to Liu Xia, because she talked to journalists last year,” said one source, who asked not to be named. “Right after that, the police came to her brother’s company in Guangzhou and he was fired soon after.”
According to the Associated Press, Liu Xia skipped her February visit to Liu Xiaobo in Jinzhou Prison, 280 miles east of Beijing, in anger at the arrest of her brother.
Mrs Liu spoke to reporters from the AP who managed to penetrate the tight security cordon around her apartment last December. Cut off from the outside world, with no phone or internet, she described her incarceration as Kafkaesque.
“We live in such an absurd place,” she said. “It is so absurd. I felt I was a person emotionally prepared to respond to the consequences of Liu Xiaobo winning the prize.
“But after he won the prize, I really never imagined that I would not be able to leave my home. This is too absurd. I think Kafka could not have written anything more absurd and unbelievable than this,” she said.