Liu Xia, widow of dissident Liu Xiaobo, allowed to leave China

2017 during a ceremony for her late husband

2017 during a ceremony for her late husband

Germany and the United States both sent doctors to visit Liu Xiaobo during his last days.

It's been nearly a year since Nobel peace prize victor, writer, and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo passed away of liver cancer in custody in China, with Beijing rejecting pleas for the dissident to be allowed to travel overseas for treatment.

Almost eight years ago, neither Liu nor her husband's supporters foresaw the repercussions the award would have on her: a writer and artist who never considered herself a political person.

He was first imprisoned in connection with the violently quashed 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for his writings during his final 11-year-sentence. He died last year from liver cancer while serving an 11-year prison sentence.

Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest since 2010, left China to receive "medical treatment according to her own will", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

Chinese authorities have insisted Liu Xia, who has not been formally charged of any crime, has been free to move as she wishes. Wu said he spoke to Liu Xia's older brother, Liu Tong.

Liu's close friends Gao Yu, a veteran journalist in Beijing, and Wu Yangwei, better known by his pen name Ye Du, said Liu Xia was on a Finnair flight to Berlin that left Tuesday morning.

A poet, a painter, and a photographer herself, Liu Xia's writings are inward-looking, wrote Ian Johnson, noting that her poems are laden with symbols associated with the struggles of dissidents in China, such as birds and the empty chair that has come to to represent Liu Xiaobo.

Rights groups and Western nations had been raising pressure on Beijing over Liu Xia in recent months, as fears grew among rights groups that she might never be able to leave and live overseas, a wish she had made clear.

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In this December 6, 2012 photo, Liu Xia, the wife of China's jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, poses with a photo of her and her husband during an interview at her home in Beijing. Chinese authorities repeatedly declined to discuss Liu Xia's confinement, which critics say was cruel and illegal.

Cruz previously authored a resolution honoring the life and work of Liu Xiaobo and in July of a year ago, as well as the fall of 2015, delivered speeches calling attention to Liu's plight.

Liu Xiaobo was only the second Nobel Peace Prize victor to die in police custody, and human rights group say that shows the Communist Party's increasingly hard line.

US and German officials have pushed hard for Liu Xia's release, with Trump and Merkel separately raising the issue privately several times to the Chinese president, according to knowledgeable sources.

Several well-known human rights activists and global humanitarian organizations have condemned the Chinese government's treatment of Liu Xia.

"We are disturbed by reports of the deteriorating health of Liu Xia". A harrowing recording of this conversation was released on 2 May 2018.

He said China's constitution protected human rights. The statement was also endorsed by David Kaye, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression.

Liu faced daily restrictions on movement and surveillance even after her husband's death, although Chinese authorities maintained she was free. On Aug. 2, the U.N. Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances filed a complaint denouncing the multiple violations of global law in her case.

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