» 12/11/2009 CHINA 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".