World

Chinese dissident’s ashes buried at sea


SHENYANG: The ashes of China’s late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo were buried at sea on Saturday, depriving his supporters of a place to pay tribute to the pro-democracy dissident.

Officials showed a video in which his wife, Liu Xia, and relatives lowered a white round urn into the water off northeast coast city of Dalian, two days after the democracy advocate died of liver cancer aged 61 while in custody.

His supporters said the authorities wanted to avoid giving him a pilgrimage site where they could remember a writer whose calls for political reform angered the Communist regime and led to his arrest in 2008.

Officials “fear that if someone who is as emblematic a symbol as Liu Xiaobo had a burial ground, it would become a place where his supporters would gather on his memorial day, the day he received the Nobel or any other such occasions to express their desire to chase after freedom,” activist and family friend Ye Du said.

Liu Xiaobo’s older brother, Liu Xiaoguang, said at a news conference organised by the authorities that the government had followed the family’s wishes.

He thanked the Communist Party for its “humanistic care” of his brother during his hospitalisation and death. He did not take any questions before being escorted out by two women.

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