The body of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died this week after a battle with liver cancer, has been cremated in China.
Liu, who was serving an 11-year sentence for incitement to subvert state power, died on 13 July from multiple organ failure,aged 61, amid international criticism of Beijing for not letting him travel abroad as he had wished.
The government of the city of Shenyang in northeastern China, where Liu had been treated for advanced liver cancer, said in a briefing that the cremation took place on Saturday morning in a ceremony attended by family and friends.
The wife and other family members of China’s best-known political prisoner have been closely guarded by Chinese authorities and largely out of contact with the outside world.
Foreign diplomats had urged China to free Liu’s wife, the artist and poet Liu Xia, from the strict house arrest she has lived under for years even though she has not been convicted of any crime.
Shenyang Shenyang from the Municipal Information Office representating Zhang Qingyang said: “Ms. Liu Xia is a Chinese citizen. China’s relevant departments will protect her legal rights according to law. According to my understanding, Liu Xia is currently free. But she just lost her spouse. She is extremely sad.”