Jail Sentence Upheld for Activist Liu Xiaobo

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(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, February 11, 2010) – CHRD learned today that the Beijing Municipal High Court rejected the appeal of Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), China’s best-known dissident intellectual and human rights activist. Liu was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to eleven years in prison on December 25, 2009.

Liu’s lawyers Shang Baojun (尚宝军) and Ding Xikui (丁锡奎), together with Liu’s wife Liu Xia (刘霞) and her brother, were present when the ruling was announced. The court was otherwise packed with government officials. A judge spent less than ten minutes reading out the prepared ruling, and Liu’s lawyers were not permitted to speak in court. After hearing the decision, Liu maintained his innocence, stating, “I am not guilty!” Lawyers Shang and Ding were escorted into and out of the court by members of the Lawyers Management Office, a body overseen by the Beijing Bureau of Justice, to prevent them from speaking with members of the public and the media.

“The fact that a succession of high-profile activists—Huang Qi, Tan Zuoren and Liu Xiaobo—have been convicted or have had their verdicts upheld in the past week indicates that the Chinese government is feeling increasingly insecure about any challenges to its legitimacy,” said a local CHRD associate who is following the case.

A number of dissidents, activists, and liberal intellectuals in Beijing—including Zhang Zuhua (张祖桦), Wang Debang (王德邦), Li Hai (李海), Hu Shigen (胡石根), Gao Hongming (高洪明) and others—were put under “soft detention” on February 10 and 11 to prevent them from attending or reporting on the hearing. The police had also cordoned off areas around the courthouse, making it impossible for Liu’s supporters to go near or attempt to enter the court.

According to Liu Xia, who met with her husband for twenty minutes at the detention facility after the decision was announced, Liu Xiaobo said he would be spending the Spring Festival in Beijing Municipal Detention Center. Following the holiday, however, he does not know whether he will serve his sentence in Beijing or in his hometown of Dalian, Liaoning Province.

CHRD reiterates its call for Liu’s immediate and unconditional release.

For More Information, Please See:

刘晓波案二审开庭,北京多人被限制自由,” February 11, 2010, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100211131149_19890.html

刘晓波案二审庭审过程,” February 11, 2010, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class18/lxb/201002/20100211105123_19887.html

“Liu Xiaobo Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison,” December 25, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class10/200912/20091225123444_19092.html

“Liu Xiaobo to be Tried for “Inciting Subversion of State Power” on December 23,” December 21, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class10/200912/20091222024608_19016.html

“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

“Over One Hundred Signatories Harassed Since Launch of Charter 08,” January 8, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class98/200901/20090108141140_12945.html

“Liu Xiaobo under Residential Surveillance at Undisclosed Location,” January 2, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class98/200901/20090102142014_12798.html

“Chinese Government Responds with a Crackdown on Activists for Commemorating 60th Anniversary of UDHR,” December 9, 2008, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class98/200812/20081210085443_12282.html

“‘Inciting Subversion of State Power:’ A Legal Tool for Prosecuting Free Speech in China,” January 8, 2008, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class11/200801/20080108225721_7032.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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