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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09BEIJING3474
2009-12-28 10:38:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

CHARGE MEETS WITH DISSIDENT'S WIFE

Tags:   PHUM  PREL  PGOV  CH 
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VZCZCXRO6279
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3474/01 3621038
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 281038Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7439
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003474 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/28/2029
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV CH
SUBJECT: CHARGE MEETS WITH DISSIDENT'S WIFE

REF: A. BEIJING 3443

B. BEIJING 3373

C. BEIJING 3321

D. BEIJING 3081

E. BEIJING 1734

F. 08 BEIJING 4493

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Robert Goldberg. Reasons 1.4 (b) and
(d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003474

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/28/2029
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV CH
SUBJECT: CHARGE MEETS WITH DISSIDENT'S WIFE

REF: A. BEIJING 3443

B. BEIJING 3373

C. BEIJING 3321

D. BEIJING 3081

E. BEIJING 1734

F. 08 BEIJING 4493

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Robert Goldberg. Reasons 1.4 (b) and
(d).


1. (C) Summary: In a December 28 meeting with Liu Xia, wife
of convicted Charter 08 author Liu Xiaobo, the Charge
expressed concern about Liu Xiaobo's safety and noted the
U.S. and other countries had called for his immediate
release. He said Liu Xiaobo would not be forgotten and would
be uppermost in our human rights agenda. Liu Xia expressed
appreciation for the attention given to her husband's case.
She confirmed that her husband would appeal his conviction
and eleven-year prison sentence. She worried that he might
be sent to a prison far outside of Beijing, making visitation
difficult and requested that we ask that he remain in
Beijing. End Summary.


2. (C) On December 28, the Charge d'Affaires met Liu Xia, the
wife of convicted Charter 08 drafter Liu Xiaobo, to assure
that the United States would continue to raise her husband's
case with the Chinese government and call for his release.
The Charge told Liu Xia that the United States would likely
raise Liu Xiaobo's case at the U.S.-China Human Rights
Dialogue in February 2010. The Charge also expressed concern
for Liu Xia, her personal safety and health, during this
difficult time and reiterated the willingness of Embassy
Beijing and the USG to support to husband and wife. (Note:
Liu Xiaobo was sentenced December 25 to 11 years in prison
for "inciting subversion of state power.")


3. (C) Liu Xia expressed appreciation for the international
communities' interest in Liu Xiaobo's case. She contrasted
the recent high-level of attention to Liu's previous
incarceration (1996 to 1999), when authorities allowed very
little information about Liu to leak to the outside world.
She noted that on December 23, during Liu's trial, many
reporters, Chinese supporters and foreign diplomats had gone
to the courthouse, even though they could not attend the
trial. Liu confirmed that although she was unable to attend

the trial December 23, government authorities did allow her
to attend the verdict reading and sentencing December 25.
The morning of the sentencing, she said, police took her
directly from her home to the courthouse and back, using an
entrance away from the media. Although pessimistic about the
chances of an appeal leading to a reduction of Liu's
eleven-year sentence, Liu Xia said that he would appeal the
conviction. (Note: Liu Xiaobo's lawyer told PolOff December
28 that they would meet with Liu Xiaobo in jail to make the
final decision on whether to appeal.) Liu Xia told the
Charge that her primary concern, however, was that following
a failed appeal Liu Xiaobo would be sent to a prison facility
outside Beijing, thereby making it impossible for her to
visit him. She said this was a common method Chinese
authorities use to "torment" ("zhe mo") the families of
dissidents. She asked that, at an appropriate time, we weigh
in with the authorities to keep him in the Beijing area.


4. (C) Liu also confirmed that she was able to have a
10-minute meeting with her husband immediately following the
sentencing hearing, their first meeting since March 20. Liu
Xia said that Liu Xiaobo had not been mistreated or abused
while in prison. According to Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo was
sharing a cell with four other prisoners and was able to
exercise for one hour each day. However, Liu Xia complained
that of the 100 plus books she had given to jail officials to
pass to Liu Xiaobo, her husband had received only about 30.
She also said that she was barred from sending any letters to
her husband. During the meeting, Liu Xia said Liu Xiaobo
looked a bit "swollen" in the face. She expressed concern
for his health and said that medicine she had sent to him for
a chronic stomach problem had not been delivered.


5. (C) Liu reported that the level of security around her
remained at the same level since Liu Xiaobo had been detained
in December 2008. She was still able to move freely, leave
home, accept media interviews and meet with diplomats.
Security forces had not yet explicitly told her not to
undertake any of these activities. (Note: During the
Charge's meeting with Liu Xia, PolOff observed two
plain-clothes security officials in the hotel garden
photographing the meeting with a telephoto lens.) She said
she regularly received calls from supporters in the United
States and Hong Kong. Liu said the Internet connection in
her apartment, which was cut in the summer, had yet to be
restored, though friends were helping her set up a wireless

BEIJING 00003474 002 OF 002


connection. Liu Xia said some supporters were urging the
couple to seek asylum in the United States, however, Liu Xia
said that Liu Xiaobo did not want to go to the United States
or into exile; doing so would "cause many people in China to
lose hope." Liu Xia said she and her husband both agreed
that he could better assist China from within China, rather
than from the United States.


6. (C) In response to a question about whether international
attention had helped or hindered her husband, Liu said it had
been helpful and she urged the United States to continue its
advocacy on his behalf. The international community, she
said, should not allow the Chinese government to sentence Liu
to eleven years without comment. The Charge assured her that
the USG stood ready to provide any additional assistance that
might be needed and urged her to stay in close contact with
the Embassy.
GOLDBERG