Chinese activist Liu’s supports say funeral ceremony a chance for government to erase his existence

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China says family members of Liu Xiaobo have scattered the ashes of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate into the sea following his death from cancer this week while in custody.

Liu’s supporters say the move was intended by the authoritarian government to permanently erase any traces of China’s best-known political prisoner.

A spokesman for the northeastern city of Shenyang, where Liu died, told reporters that the sea burial took place Saturday at noon, just hours after his cremation.

Speaking to reporters at the news briefing, Liu’s elder brother thanked the ruling Communist Party and the government for its handling of his brother’s funeral. The brother is regarded by Liu’s friends as having long been unsupportive of Liu’s political advocacy.

Liu died Thursday from multiple organ failure.