A rare video showing the wife of Liu Xiaobo, China’s jailed Nobel laureate, reciting poetry while under house arrest in Beijing has been released by supporters.

The video was presented at a screening for activists and writers in New York and shows Ms Liu reading two of her poems inside what appears to be her study.

Liu Xia, whose pro-democracy campaigner husband was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 for “inciting subversion”, has never been charged or convicted of any crime.

However, the painter, poet and writer, has been held under house arrest for the last three years and the two-minute video represents a rare “public” appearance.

Friends say they fear Liu Xia’s continued isolation is taking an increasing toll on her mental state.

Last November, Liu Xiaobo’s lawyer said his client had instructed him to appeal his sentence although it was unclear if there was any realistic chance of that happening.