» 12/11/2009, 00.00
Liu Xiaobo charged for subversion; open letter of 200 signatories of Charter '08
The trial of the author of the document for democracy in China should start between four to six weeks. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. Among the "evidence" against him is the text of the Charter. The 200 signatories - 165 in China - also ask to be indicted, "we share the same values."
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Chinese authorities have formalized the charges against Liu Xiaobo. It was confirmed this morning by his lawyer that the well-known dissident and promoter of "Charter '08" will have to answer for subversion. The trial should start between four to six weeks. Meanwhile, more than 200 activists, 165 of whom live in China, are asking to be prosecuted along with Liu, because they share his "ideals and responsibility."
Shang Baojun, the lawyer for the activist, states that he still does not know what the formal charges are, but believes that the main accusation is "fomenting riots to subvert the State order”.
December 1st last, police specifically asked the prosecutor to issue this type of imputation. It is used in an arbitrary fashion to punish activists and dissidents and includes penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
A year ago Liu Xiaobo, a well known university professor, presented to the government, along with 300 more signatures, a public petition - known as "Charter 08" - asking the country to fulfil the desire for democracy and freedom present in recent history China. The "evidence" against him includes his drafting of the "Charter" and six other pro-democracy articles he posted on the Internet.
In response to the decision of Chinese authorities, yesterday a group of more than 200 signatories of Charter '08 "- 165 of whom live in China - issued an open letter titled "We want to share responsibility with Liu Xiaobo”. The document is published by the dissident site Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) and reiterates its support to Liu, his ideas and values that have given life to the "Charter".
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The trial held today lasted only 2 hours. Representatives of foreign governments were excluded from the court. Liu faces up to 15 years for "subversion of state power". Bao Tong: I agree with him. I should be prosecuted too. The Chinese constitution a "farce".
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The Chinese government rejects requests from United States and European Union for the release of the author of "Charter 08". Trial to begin next week, if convicted, the dissident risks 15 years in prison.
A year after his arrest Charter 08 leader to be formally charged
Dissident and former university professor Liu Xiaobo was arrested for allegedly inciting subversion after he signed Charter 08, an appeal calling on the government to implement democracy, religious freedom and human rights and thus save the country’s economic progress.
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The author of Charter 08 on trial yesterday for "subversion", awaits his verdict tomorrow. Condemning Liu means condemning freedom of expression that is defended in the Chinese constitution. The Party with its "arbitrary and monopolistic" exercise of power is the real "subversive".
Another pro-democracy dissident arrested
Yang Lin has already spent a year in hard labour for signing 'Charter 08', the constitutional manifesto co-authored by Nobel Peace Prize Liu Xiaobo. He could now get five years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power". Hopes for a new dispensation under Xi Jinping's leadership are fast fading.
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