02/11/2010, 00.00
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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.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The High Court of the People in Beijing today confirmed the sentence of 11 years in prison for Liu Xiaobo.  

The writer and democracy activist was sentenced on Christmas Day last to 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power." Liu Xiaobo is one of the drafters of the Charter 08, a document which calls for China to base the current economic development on human rights, including freedom of religion, to distinguish the judicial, executive and legislative powers (currently all under the auspices Communist Party) to open a multi-part society, ending the era of single party rule, a source of corruption and injustice.  (See: 01/26/2009  Charter 08, a plea for human rights in China | complete text)

The court accused Liu of trying to find supporters in signing the document. Indeed as soon as it was published on the Internet - before being obscured by the censors - Charter 08 has received the support of 300 people. In the months following the signatures have come to about 10 thousand.    

Liu defended himself, saying that freedom of expression is guaranteed under the Chinese constitution.  

Before and after the sentence of Christmas, 200 people in China have asked to be tried and convicted because they share Liu Xiaobo’s view.  

Nobel laureates, NGOs, the governments of the U.S. and European Union have repeatedly asked for his release, but Beijing has always responded by harshly asserting the question as an "internal affair".  

The director of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called the ruling on Liu "a shameful shadow” on the commitment of Beijing in wanting to protect human rights.

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