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Activists visit Chinese dissident’s wife

Liu Xia (right) tearfully embraced her friend Xu Youyu (left) during a visit from five Chinese activists Monday.

AP Photo/Hu Jia via AP Video

Liu Xia (right) tearfully embraced her friend Xu Youyu (left) during a visit from five Chinese activists Monday.

BEIJING — Five Chinese activists defied a security guard and made a brief visit to dissident Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, who has been confined under house arrest since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago.

The rare visit Friday was captured on video by Beijing activist Hu Jia, who posted it on YouTube on Monday. Hu said the activists wanted to see Liu Xia on that day to mark her husband’s birthday.

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‘‘We thought we would visit his wife and commemorate it with her since he can’t be with her,’’ Hu said.

Earlier this month, Associated Press reporters managed to visit her apartment while guards apparently stepped away, filming her first interview in 26 months.

Liu was stunned by the visit, trembling uncontrollably and crying as she described how absurd and emotionally draining it had been to be kept locked in her home. Liu Xiaobo is four years into an 11-year prison term for subversion for authoring and disseminating a programmatic call for democracy, Charter ’08.

In awarding him the peace prize, the Nobel committee cited that proposal and his two decades of nonviolent struggle for civil rights.

Liu Xia has been held in her duplex apartment with no Internet or outside phone line and is allowed only weekly trips to buy groceries and visit her parents. In the four-minute video of the activists’ visit on Friday, the activists are seen arguing with a man guarding the staircase leading to the couple’s apartment in Beijing.

They pushed past the guard and followed Liu Xia to her apartment. There, Liu tearfully embraced her friend, Xu Youyu, a Beijing intellectual.

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