You are not easily forgotten, Liu Xiaobo
One year ago today, I took part in a candlelight march in memory of a Chinese poet, patriot and political prisoner who had died two days earlier while still in Communist Chinese custody. Even as we mourned the passing of Liu Xiaobo, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die while under confinement since Carl von Ossietzky in Nazi Germany 79 years previously, we also were calling for the release from de facto house arrest of Liu Xiaobo's widow, Liu Xia.
In the months since the death of the man who loved her so, as will be clear to anyone who reads his moving I Have No Enemies essay, many people have worked to make sure that Liu Xia -- whose only crime, it seemed, had been to be married to the man she loved -- had not been forgotten. As an example, at the July 1st march this year here in Hong Kong, people carried banners urging that Liu Xia be freed. In addition, the plans for the vigil to mark the first anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's passing held near the city's government offices originally involved it being a rally directed at the Communist Chinese government calling for Liu Xia's release.
As it turned, however, plans for that July 13th event had to adjusted. For on the same day (July 10th) as the world got the miraculous news that all 12 boys of a football (soccer) team and their coach had been rescued from the cave in which they had been trapped for some two and a half weeks, the arguably even more amazing news came of Liu Xia having been allowed to leave China to receive medical treatment in Germany!
To be sure, Liu Xia is not entirely free to do and say whatever she wants (yet) since her brother, Liu Hui, is effectively being held hostage in China. But the wide smile on her face in pictures taken after she arrived in Europe clearly show that Liu Xia is now in a far better place than she was just a few days before; and this, in turn, gives those of us who have taken part in campaigns to urge for her freedom renewed hope that political protests can lead to the achievement of our goals, however unlikely they can seem to come true until, well, they do! :)