24 November 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 12/26/2009, 00.00


    Liu Xiaobo’s 11-year sentence a “travesty of justice”

    The activist’s wife, Liu Xia, says her husband will appeal. The United Nations and the European Union criticise the court’s decision. According to some dissidents, Hu Jintao feels strong enough to disregard foreign pressures but for them the sentence will make dissent stronger
    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – For Human Rights Watch, the 11-year sentence imposed yesterday on Chinese intellectual and activist Liu Xiaobo is “a travesty of justice.” Liu, who will be 54 on 28 December Feast Day of the Holy innocent, was one of the authors of Charter 08, a manifesto that calls on the People’s Republic of China to respect the people’s need for democracy, guarantee the separation of power among the branches of government and end Communist Party’s monopoly of power. In its verdict, the court said that Liu “had the goal of subverting our country's people's democratic dictatorship and socialist system.” In China, court decisions can never independently of Party interests.

    Liu, who was not allowed to respond in court to the sentence, was able to speak with his wife, Liu Xia, for ten minutes. He told her that he would appeal, even if chances of success were slim.  

    Reactions to the sentence were swift. UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay said that Liu’s sentence was “extremely harsh” and undermined freedom of expression. Sweden, as the current holder of the EU presidency, said it was "deeply concerned by the disproportionate sentence”. The US Embassy in Beijing called for Liu’s immediate release.

    By contrast, Chinese authorities called the criticism “a gross interference of China's internal affairs”.

    For a number of Chinese dissidents, President “Hu Jintao believes that with the West weakened and human rights taking a back seat, he can ignore pressure over attacks on freedom of expression”.

    China “sees Liu Xiaobo as a representative figure, and [those in power] think they can scare the others into silence with such a harsh sentence”, said dissident Christian activist Yu Jie, “but I think his case will embolden, not scare, others.”

    Indeed, on the eve of the sentence, some 300 prominent Chinese offered to be tried with him because they share his ideas. They include Bao Tong, a former top government official.

    On the day of Liu’s trial, last Wednesday, tens of his friends and comrades, demonstrated waving banners and shouting slogans (pictured) against China’s unfair justice system.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    15/05/2007 CHINA
    More transparency in court but under Communist Party control
    At an international meeting, Beijing recognized that inefficiency, corruption and unwarranted interference by state officials were rife in the courts. The solution: allowing everyone to participate in sittings and monitoring the enforcement of decisions. But the Supreme Court insisted that the first reform should be to "adhere to Communist Party leadership."

    07/01/2010 EUROPEAN UNION – CHINA
    Free Liu Xiaobo, Vaclav Havel says in letter to Hu Jintao
    Former Czech president and co-author of Charter 77 goes to the Chinese Embassy in Prague with two other prominent dissidents to demand China respect the human rights of the author of Charter 08 and his right to a fair appeal.

    27/10/2017 17:16:00 CHINA – EUROPEAN UNION
    Trade relations between China and the world after the Communist Party Congress

    Economic analysts look at Xi Jinping’s stronger power base. Economic ties between China and the European Union may not be all that positive whilst Beijing’s emphasis is on state control and the debt of state-owned enterprises.

    Skeptics in Vienna doubt deal on Iranian nuclear programme
    At the IAEA meeting, Director-General Mohamed El Baradei says there have been little progress. Tehran insists it won't negotiate its rights but calls proposals a "step forward".

    Taiwan says EU plans to lift China arms ban is money over principles
    Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian accuses EU that its plans to lift the arms ban on mainland China is motivated by trade considerations. Chinese envoy denies Taiwan attack is on the agenda.

    Editor's choices

    “Hectic hours” before pope's arrival in Yangon, Catholics to help pilgrims

    Paolo Fossati

    Some 200,000 people are expected at the solemn Mass at Kyaikkasan Grounds, including Buddhist and Muslim leaders. Some 6,000 kids will take part in the Mass for young people the next day. Filipinos, Australians and Thais are also expected for Pope Francis’ apostolic journey. From our correspondent.

    The genocide of Yemen:First bombs, now hunger, thirst and cholera

    Pierre Balanian

    The coalition led by Riyadh blocks the arrival of fuel needed to run the wells. Over a million people without water in Taiz, Saada, Hodeida, Sana'a and Al Bayda. According to UNICEF, 1.7 million children suffer from acute malnutrition”; 150,000 children are likely to die in the coming weeks. The silence and neglect of the international community. The threat of hitting crude-cargo ships. Yesterday, Saudi Arabia allowed the reopening of Sana'a airport and Hudayda port, but only for humanitarian aid. An insufficient measure.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®