Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo’s Ashes Scattered at Sea in Controversial Burial

The ashes of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo were scattered at sea Saturday in a hastily planned burial that has triggered outrage among the late Nobel laureate’s friends and supporters. Chinese authorities released a video in which Liu Xia, the late activist’s widow, can be seen lowering his ashes into the water just two days after he died of liver cancer while in custody. Although Chinese officials claim his family played an active role in his burial, critics say the move was designed to deprive the democracy advocate’s supporters of a physical memorial site where his ideas could be honored. A press briefing after the burial saw Liu Xiaoguang, Liu Xiaobo’s brother, publicly thank Chinese authorities for their “high level of humanity” in a speech that critics said was coerced. Critics have also expressed concerns that Liu Xia, under house arrest since 2010, may be facing increasing pressure from authorities, as she has not been heard from for several days and has apparently not been allowed to speak publicly.