Picture: AP Video via AP

Shenyang - Family members and friends of Liu Xiaobo on Saturday bid him farewell in northeast China's Shenyang city, according to a press conference held by the information office of Shenyang. 

Liu, convicted of subversion of state power in 2009, died of multiple organ failure due to liver cancer Thursday after medical treatment failed, according to the justice bureau of Shenyang city, Liaoning Province. He was 61. 

Liu's body was cremated Saturday morning in accordance with the will of his family members and local customs. 

Prior to the cremation, a simple ceremony was held with the attendance of Liu's wife Liu Xia and his friends.

The remains of Liu was surrounded by plain colored petals, with wreathes laying around his body at a funeral parlor in southern Shenyang.

At 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Liu Xia was the first to bid farewell to her husband in the rhythm of Mozart's Requiem, then Liu's relatives and friends bowed three times in front of his body during the ceremony.

Liu's relatives including his wife and brother Liu Xiaoguang decided to cremate the remains and hold a simple funeral after consultation.

Well-known experts from China as well as Germany and the United States were invited for joint consultations when Liu Xiaobo was treated at the First Hospital of China Medical University.

In reply to a question on Liu Xia's condition, Zhang Qingyang, spokesperson for the information office, said that "Liu Xia is a Chinese citizen, and Chinese relevant departments will protect her legal interests and rights in accordance with the law."

"Liu Xia is free so far, and we want her to avoid trouble because she was in a grief after losing relative," Zhang said.

According to north China's customs, the remains of the deceased should be cremated and a funeral is held within three days after passing away. 

"The cremation of Liu's body on Saturday accords with local customs and respects relatives' wishes," the spokesperson said.

A total of 30 correspondents from 18 foreign media outlets were hosted at a press center in Shenyang.

Xinhua