The love that survived a Chinese labour camp
China / July 10, 2017

Image captionThe couple’s romance has played out in labour camps, prisons and under house arrest, with the Chinese state always a third wheel Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has spent years in prison for calling for political change in his country. For more than half of his marriage to Liu Xia he has been imprisoned, and now he is dying of cancer. The BBC’s Celia Hatton looks back at how the couple’s love survived. They fought to be allowed to marry each other. But when the government in Beijing finally backed down, permitting one of its unrelenting critics to marry his love, problems remained. The camera that was supposed to take the couple’s official marriage picture wouldn’t work. The photographer was left scratching his head. Chinese marriage certificates aren’t valid unless they contain an official portrait snapped at the scene. So, Liu Xiaobo and and his would-be wife, Liu Xia, improvised. They found single photos of themselves and stuck them side by side. The makeshift photo was stamped and finally, they were married. That was in 1996. Getting married was a small victory for the couple. It gave Liu Xia the right to visit her…