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Dissident Liu Xiaobo cremated, China claims his wife is now free

Dissident Liu Xiaobo cremated, China claims his wife is now free

Over the weekend, the body of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo was cremated and his ashes scattered to the sea in an abrupt and carefully-choreographed ceremony which will ensure that the human rights icon's supporters will have no grave at which to honor his memory. A video about Liu's hospital treatment released on the website of Shenyang's judicial bureau Friday appeared aimed at the same objective. One notable exception is a newspaper published by the ruling Communist Party which on Saturday said the West was "deifying" Liu, a man the paper described as a criminal who was "paranoid, naive and arrogant". "It's a blasphemy of the peace prize".

Liu Xiaobo was a veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and was detained in 2008 after co-writing Charter 08, a petition calling for democratic reforms.

"This gang of hooligans have already flung Liu Xiaobo's ashes into the sea!"

A handful of family members, including Liu's wife, Liu Xia, attended the small funeral service on Saturday morning. "Two-thirds of the earth's surface is covered by the sea and I can foresee that in the future, activists and ordinary people will go to the sea and memorialize Liu Xiaobo".

Supporters were also angry about the treatment of his wife Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest since her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, and friends continue to hope the government will bow to global pressure to allow her to leave China. "The authorities are very anxious that a grave would be the focal point of the public's actions to memorialize him, which could easily turn into protests".

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who lives in Berlin, tweeted a photo of the funeral and called the display "disgusting" and a "violation" of the deceased.

Sen. John McCain Has Surgery to Remove Blood Clot Above Eye
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can not lose any others for the legislation to survive a showdown vote expected next week. Surgeons removed the clot during a minimally invasive craniotomy through an incision in the 80-year-old lawmaker's eyebrow.

People took to the streets of central Hong Kong on Saturday night, holding up candles and white roses and marching from the city's commercial heart to China's representative office during the evening vigil.

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.

The government also said some of Liu's friends attended the ceremony, a claim that was disputed by people who have always been close to Liu.

During the past seven years, Liu Xia was only allowed to leave her apartment to visit her parents or her husband at his prison in the northeastern province of Liaoning, where he was serving an 11-year sentence until he was admitted at a hospital in early June. "But she just lost her relative and is in deep sorrow", spokesman Zhang Qingyang said.

Wong reported from Beijing.


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