China warned supporters of Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo not to mark Friday’s anniversary of his death, while rights activists in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong gathered to keep his memory alive, Euronews reports.
Liu died aged 61 on July 13 last year in a hospital in the northern city of Shenyang under close guard by security agents, after he was denied permission to leave China for treatment for late-stage liver cancer.
He had been jailed in 2009 for “inciting subversion” after he helped write and circulate a pro-democratic reform proposal known as “Charter 08”, his last major act in a long career of activism beginning during the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Beijing.
Supporters of Liu and his widow, Liu Xia, in China said they had been unable to organise any large-scale event to mark the day and some have been “vacationed” by the authorities, a common practice where security agents take prominent dissidents away from cities during sensitive events to keep them quiet.
Hu Jia, a Beijing-based dissident who knew Liu Xiaobo, told Reuters on Sunday that he was going to be taken to Chongli, four hours outside of Beijing.
“They said I could not go near the sea,” he said.