The wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has written a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping to complain about the almost three years of house arrest she has suffered for no other reason than being the wife of a dissident.

In the handwritten letter, published Friday on Twitter by Liu family attorney Shang Baojun, Liu Xia tells the president that she "has been denied personal freedom since 2010," the year her husband received the Nobel prize, and "no one ever explained the reason for her house arrest."

"I assume that in this country it's a crime to be the wife of writer Liu Xiaobo," said Liu Xia's note, which also mentions the recent sentencing of her brother Liu Hui to 11 years in prison for fraud.

The verdict against her brother "is a complete injustice" in which "the rights of the defendant have been completely ignored," she said.

Liu Xia recalled in her letter to the president that he frequently speaks about the "dream of China," and asks the chief executive to make greater efforts to defend the rule of law and human rights so that "the dream doesn't turn into a nightmare."

Liu Xia's brother was sentenced to prison for being guilty of illegally pocketing, together with an associate, 3 million yuan ($500,000) in a real estate dispute.

Human-rights groups and family members claim the unusually harsh sentence is part of the authorities' persecution of the Liu Xiaobo family, as well as a way of intimidating other political activists. EFE