Urgent Action Liu Xiaobo to be Tried for “Inciting Subversion of State Power” on December 23

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Urgent Action

Liu Xiaobo to be Tried for “Inciting Subversion of State Power” on December 23

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders- December 21, 2009) CHRD has learned that detained activist and intellectual Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) will be tried for “inciting subversion of state power” at 9 am on December 23 at Beijing Number One Intermediate People’s Court. The court is located at 16 Shijingshan Road in Shijingshan District, Beijing. The trial will take place only twelve days after Liu’s indictment, and his lawyers, concerned that they have not had enough time to review the 20-volume case file and prepare their defense, requested that the trial be postponed. Court officials rejected this appeal, stating that “it is not possible!” The timing of the trial, two days before Christmas, raises suspicion that the authorities wish to quickly sentence Liu while most diplomatic staff and journalists in Beijing are away during the holiday season.

Liu’s wife, Liu Xia (刘霞), has been denied a permit to attend her husband’s trial because she has been listed as a “witness” for the prosecution. During one of her visits with her husband over the past year she was interrogated by police, and the record of her responses is now being used as the basis for involving her in her husband’s case. According to Liu Xia, court officials told her that only two seats in the courtroom have been reserved for family members. It is believed that, as in other politically sensitive trials, government officials will pack the courtroom. Police have begun interrogating and intimidating supporters in Beijing and other cities across China, warning them against continuing online efforts to mobilize others to attend Liu’s trial, or at least gather outside the courthouse.

In the last few days, activists and supporters—including Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌) and Deng Yonggu (邓永固) of Sichuan, Wen Kejian (温克坚) of Hangzhou, Jiang Danwen (蒋亶文) of Shanghai, Ye Du (野渡) of Guangdong, and Wang Debang (王德邦), Chen Ziming (陈子明), Zhou Duo (周舵), Liu Di (刘荻, aka “Stainless Steel Rat”) and Li Hai () of Beijing, among others—have been visited and sternly warned by police against voicing their support online for Liu Xiaobo or trying to attend the trial. Those who follow the situation told us that many supporters will be put under house-arrest or residential surveillance in coming days.

“We are concerned that Liu Xiaobo’s right to fair trial will not be respected. These police actions may presage further efforts by the authorities to harass potential observers—including members of the media, diplomats, or other concerned citizens—and prevent them from attending the trial,” said Renee Xia, CHRD’s international director.

Diplomats from Germany, the Czech Republic, Sweden, the US and the EU have requested to attend the trial as independent observers. Former US Attorney General Dick Thornburgh has made similar request.
CHRD calls on the international community to closely follow further developments in Liu’s case, including detention and surveillance of supporters. We urge the Chinese government to ensure Liu’s right to a fair and open trial by allowing independent observers to attend the trial, including journalists, diplomats, and any concerned members of the public.

For More Information, Please See:

“Procuratorate Delivers Indictment against Liu Xiaobo, Trial Date to Be Set,” December 11, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class10/200912/20091212052815_18822.html

“Human Rights Day in China: Liu Xiaobo Accused of ‘Major Crime’ for Drafting Charter 08,” December 10, 2009, /Article/Class9/Class10/200912/20091210040528_18780.html

“As Charter 08 Anniversary Nears, Liu Xiaobo Languishes Behind Bars without Trial,” December 3, 2009, /Article/Class9/Class15/200912/20091203054539_18667.html

“Liu Xiaobo Formally Arrested for ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power,’” June 24, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class10/200906/20090624153357_15987.html

Media Contacts

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 301 547 9286
Jiang Yingying, Researcher (English and Mandarin), +852 8170 0237

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