Liu Xia, wife of late Nobel Peace Prize victor, leaves China

Poon, citing an unnamed source, said Liu had been allowed to leave but her brother, Liu Hui has to remain in Beijing.

Ms Hua said she "could not see any link" between Liu Xia's departure and the high-level Chinese visit.

The widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning political dissident Liu Xiaobo has left China for Germany in news welcomed by rights groups who had long pressed for her release from what was effectively house arrest.

While precise details of Liu's flight out of China are unknown, the only Finnair flight that left Beijing Capital International Airport bound for Berlin on Tuesday morning was Flight AY86, which took off at 10.55am, according to the airport's website. He thanked everyone who had cared for and helped her over the years.

She has been under de-facto house arrest since 2010 after her husband, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel peace prize in absentia for his activism in China.

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On Chinese social media, some are expressing their happiness for her-obliquely, of course, so as to avoid censorship.

Her brother was convicted on fraud charges over a real estate abuse in 2013, a case activists believed was retribution against the family, and a way to pressure Liu Xia.

In a July 2017 photo released by the Shenyang Municipal Information Office, Liu Xia, wife of jailed Nobel Peace Prize victor and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, holds a portrait of him during his funeral at a funeral parlor in Shenyang in northeastern China's Liaoning Province.

"It is wonderful news that Liu Xia is finally free and that her persecution and illegal detention at the hands of the Chinese authorities has come to an end, almost one year since Liu Xiaobo's untimely and undignified death", Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty said in a statement he sent to Al Jazeera. Those close to her say she suffers from heart ailments and depression, and has many times asked to leave China.

Liu Xia was never charged but was largely confined to her Beijing home.

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Western diplomats and rights groups had earlier hoped to be able to get Liu Hui out of China as well.

Liu Xiaobo had been jailed in 2009 for subversion, for his involvement in Charter 08, a manifesto calling for reforms. Concerns for her health mounted after she was heard in an April audio recording saying that she was "prepared to die" under house arrest following the loss of her husband. Germany and the United States both sent doctors to visit Liu Xiaobo during his last days.

Protesters carrying photos of Chinese dissident Liu Xia demonstrate near a flag raising ceremony for China's National Day in Hong Kong, China October 1, 2016.

Diplomats have said that authorities had continued to monitor Liu Xia after the death of her husband and she had only been able to meet and speak to friends and family in pre-arranged phone calls and visits.

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