The wife of an imprisoned Chinese activist who was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize says she was able to visit him in jail and he broke down in tears.

Liu Xia, the wife of democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo, said in a Twitter message that she had seen her husband on Sunday and that his jailers had informed him a day earlier of his prize. The Twitter message was verified by a close friend.

Half a dozen men blocked the entrance to Ms. Liu's apartment in Beijing on Sunday night, ordering reporters out of the compound.

In naming Mr. Liu on Thursday, the Nobel committee said it was honouring his more than two decades of advocacy for human rights and peaceful democratic change. China calls him a criminal.

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