27 May 2017
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  • » 12/23/2009, 00.00

    CHINA

    Liu Xiaobo will be sentenced on Christmas Day



    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".

    Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The verdict of conviction for "subversion" for non-violent dissident Liu Xiaobo will be delivered on Christmas day, at 9. So said a witness to the mock trial that was held today in a court in Beijing, lasting only two hours. Liu is likely to face 10 to 15 years in prison for having asked for political reform, greater democracy, respect for human rights in China.

    Liu, 53, an intellectual and academic, was arrested a year ago just days after the publication on the internet of Charter 08, a document that calls for more attention from the Communist leadership to human rights in China and political and social reforms such as the separation between government , and the Communist Party, and the division of legislative, judicial and executive powers. The document also demand religious freedom for communities of all faiths, casting aside the division between "normal" (ie controlled) and "illegal" (not controlled) activities (See 26/01/2009 Charter 08, a plea for human rights in China | complete text).   The document, obscured on the Internet, was immediately signed by some 300 intellectuals, personalities of the establishment and ordinary people. It then spread in secret, to be signed by tens of thousands of people, including members of the Party and Chinese overseas.

     

    Liu has already spent years in prison for supporting the Tiananmen movement, having sought to avoid the massacre of 4 June 1989.   After months of detention in unknown locations, Liu was accused of trying to subvert social order, the slogan with which the Communist Party labels anyone who attempts to undermine to its supremacy. The fact that the demands of Charter 08 are contained in the UN Convention on civil rights, signed by the Chinese government in the 90s, should be noted.   Among the signatories of Charter 08, Liu is the only person to be arrested and prosecuted. The statesman Bao Tong, who was also arrested for opposing the Tiananmen massacre, was one of the first signatories of Charter 08. "If Liu is on trial - he told AFP-I should be prosecuted too." "If he is found guilty, it means that freedom of speech and freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution is a falsehood."

    Before the trial, at least 300 people among the signatories of Charter 08 asked to be tried also with Liu Xiaobo because they are in total harmony with his ideas.

    Some people who wanted to picket the court were hunted by police. Representatives of foreign embassies, who wanted to attend the trial, did not receive permission to enter the court.   Governmental organizations and many governments in the international community have demanded the release of Liu, but Beijing says those demands are “unacceptable". Many point out that the decision to issue the verdict on Christmas Day, when major world media are on holiday, is a way to suppress any news on the sentencing.

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    See also

    11/12/2009 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."

    24/12/2009 CHINA
    Bao Tong: The verdict against Liu Xiaobo marks the end of the Chinese constitution
    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".

    11/02/2010 CHINA
    Beijing rejects appeal for Liu Xiaobo
    sentence to 11 years in prison for "subversion of state power” confirmed. The author of Charter 08 had asked for respect for human rights and the end of single party rule because of corruption and injustice. U.S., EU, NGOs and Nobel laureates have repeatedly asked for his release.

    09/12/2009 CHINA
    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.

    16/12/2009 CHINA
    Beijing responds to U.S. and EU: Liu Xiaobo remains in jail
    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.



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