onsdag 28. juni 2017

A Tribute to Liu Xiaobo and His Wife, Liu Xia

Every month, the Chinese poet, photographer, and artist Liu Xia boards a train bound for the country’s north. Carrying food and books and escorted by four plainclothes police officers, she heads for a prison in the city of Jinzhou where her husband, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, is serving a sentence for subversion of state power. The ritual rarely varies: rising early to get the morning train, a short visit, and the train back.

The ride used to take six hours each way, but Ms. Liu now makes it in just three—a tribute to the power and might of a state that rolls out high-speed rail lines as quickly as it snaps up those who oppose its vision of China’s future. Now 55 years old, Ms. Liu is one of those victims: a small, fragile woman with extremely short-cropped hair that sets off her high cheekbones and bright, wide eyes.