Protesters shaved their heads in Hong Kong on Friday to show their support for the Chinese artist and poet Liu Xia, who is under house arrest.
Liu Xia is married to the jailed Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo.
The protest was organised by a group of Hong Kong and international non-governmental organisations working to improve freedom of expression in China.
Gathered in one of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping areas, the protesters shaved their heads and asked the Chinese government to release Liu.
The protesters called for the “unconditional release” of Liu, her husband and her younger brother Liu Hui, who was convicted of fraud in 2013.
Hang Tung-chow, a spokesperson for the Liu Xia Concern Group said the protesters were shaving their heads “to show that we are all Liu Xia. We are all un-free on this land if Liu Xia is un-free.”
The protest took place on Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong legislator Lee Cheuk-yan, who is a member of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said that the result of Liu Xia falling in love with Liu Xiaobo, was being “illegally detained for more than three years.”
“Love should be not a sin but in China, love is a sin,” he said.
Liu Xia has been under house arrest for the past three years.
In 2009, her husband, Liu Xiaobo, was convicted of subversion and sentenced to 11 years in prison for his activism after he wrote and disseminated the Charter ’08 document calling for democracy.
In 2010 he was awarded the Nobel peace prize, a move the Chinese government denounced.
Since then, authorities have kept Liu Xia isolated to prevent her from becoming, on her husband’s behalf, a rallying point for Chinese people seeking democratic change.
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