Xu Lin on trial for singing for Liu Xiaobo

Xu went on trial yesterday on public order charges. His wife and friends have been banned from the courthouse. It is thought that he was tortured in prison to force him to "confess".

Guangzhou (AsiaNews/RFA) – Singer-songwriter Xu Lin appeared in court on public order charges in Guangdong for writing and singing songs dedicated to writer and Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo who was allowed to die of cancer in prison where he was purging an 11-year sentence.

Xu’s wife, Wang, said she was prevented from attending the trial, and had to watch a live video feed in a separate room. The singer’s friends were not allowed to come near the courthouse.

Dissidents expect a harsh sentence, unless Xu "confesses" his faults.

According to Amnesty International, Xu Lin was tortured and mistreated. Arrested on 2 November 2017 for " picking quarrels and provoking trouble ", he was investigated by police and prosecutor.

Whilst in Nansha Prison in Guangzhou, he was admitted to the hospital. It is thought that he was beaten or tortured in prison to push him to "confess" in a video, according to a well-established pattern observed in other cases.

Police have since detained a number of activists who staged memorials in Liu's honour, including Zhuo Yuzhen, who was detained in Guangdong's riverside town of Jiangmen for taking part in a memorial a month after Liu's passing.