Chinese Nobel laureate's ashes scattered at sea

Chinese Nobel laureate's ashes scattered at sea

There has been controversy over the funeral of the late Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo, whose ashes were scattered in the sea after a ceremony seemingly orchestrated by the Communist Party.

Liu died earlier this week at the age of 61 from complications of liver cancer in a heavily guarded hospital in Shenyang, a city in northeastern China. He did not achieve in his lifetime his dreams for China to become a full democracy, but we have no doubt "the torch he carried high will be passed on", as Wen Kejian, a fellow writer, said ["Fellow writer says Liu Xiaobo became 'a monument to morality and justice,' " news, July 14].

Liu Xiaobo's body was cremated "in accordance with the will of his family members and local customs", said Zhang Qingyang, an official from the Shenyang municipal office.

A handful of family members, including Liu's wife, Liu Xia, attended the small funeral service on Saturday morning. A press release issued by the government said that the ceremony was held at 6:30 a.m.to the music of Mozart's Requiem, and that the body was cremated shortly afterward.

The brother, who is believed to have been estranged from Liu, may have been coerced to give the statement, said friends of the dissident. "This is just a big performance". "I have nothing to say other than that I'm extremely infuriated", Mo said.

The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said the authorities refused to return Liu's items to his wife, including some manuscripts, literature reviews and poems Liu wrote during his time in prison.

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China's government faced a global backlash for denying Liu Xiaobo's wish to be treated overseas, and the United States and European Union have called on the government to free Liu Xia. On Friday, the committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize said it was "deeply worried" about her and urged China to free her.

Zhang did not reveal Liu Xia's whereabouts.

He is the first Nobel Peace laureate to die in state custody since Carl von Ossietzky, the German pacifist who won the prize in 1935 and died under guard in 1938.

China has bristled previously at Tsai's comments on China's political system. "Deification of Liu by the West will be eventually overshadowed by China's denial of him". Liu had dedicated his life to peaceful political change-during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, he negotiated the retreat of student demonstrators as thousands of armed personnel of China's People's Liberation Army stood by to strike.

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