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Archive for December 25th, 2009

Enemy Of The People: Liu Xiaobo

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No doubt, the apologists and intellectual lackeys of the Chinese ruling classes will argue that Liu Xiaobo was an agent of Western imperialism, or maybe even the Dalai Lama, etc., or some such nonsense, but the Guardian has more on him:

“One of China’s most prominent human rights activists was condemned today to 11 years in prison, prompting a furious backlash from domestic bloggers and international civil society groups.

Liu Xiaobo, the founder of the Charter 08 campaign for constitutional reform, was given the unusually harsh jail term on Christmas Day in an apparent attempt to minimise international attention.

The case has raised fears that other drafters of Charter 08 could also face retribution from the authorities.

Following a year in detention and a two-hour trial, it took the No 1 intermediate people’s court in Beijing just 10 minutes to read out the 11-page sentence.

Liu was found guilty on Wednesday of subversion, the vaguely defined charge that Communist party leaders often use to imprison political opponents.

In a statement released by the state-controlled Xinhua news agency, the court said it had “strictly followed the legal procedures” and “fully protected Liu’s litigation rights”.

However, the author and academic had been detained without trial for a year. His wife, Liu Xia, was not allowed into an earlier hearing, nor were foreign diplomatic observers. Liu’s lawyers have been warned not to discuss the case.

But the defence team said they were prepared to appeal against the verdict.

“We cannot accept this sentence because we have argued in court that Liu is innocent,” said one of his lawyers, Mo Shaoping. His wife could not be reached as her mobile phone was suddenly out of order.

Amnesty International expressed outrage at the sentence, which it said was the harshest in 35 subversion cases since 2003.”

I wonder how that will be spun?

Update 1: The Age has more:

“IN AN unequivocal rebuke to those pursuing political reforms, a Chinese court has convicted Liu Xiaobo, one of the country’s best-known dissidents, of subversion and sentenced him to 11 years in prison.

Liu, 53, a literature professor and a vocal critic of China’s single-party political system, was detained in December 2008 after he helped create a petition known as Charter 08 that demanded the right to free speech, open elections and many other liberties.

The 11-page verdict, largely a restatement of his indictment, was read yesterday morning at the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court by a court official, said Liu’s lawyer, Shang Baojun.

In addition to his prison term, Liu will be deprived of his political rights for an additional two years,which will prevent him from writing or speaking out on a wide range of issues.”

Update 2: I forgot I had covered some of these issues coming up on this topic before, under Sinophobia Or Legitimate Political Criticism?

Written by modernityblog

25/12/2009 at 14:53