Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波)

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Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波)

 Liu Xiaobo  刘晓波

liu xiaobo

Current Detention

Crime:  Inciting subversion of state power 

Length of Punishment:  11 Years

Court:  Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court 

Trial date: December 23, 2009

Sentencing date:  December 25, 2009

Dates of Detention/Arrest:  December 8, 2008 (detention); June 23, 2009 (arrest)

Place of Detention: Jinzhou Prison (Dalian City, Liaoning Province)

Verdict: Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court (Chinese only)

Appeal Sentencing Date:February 9, 2010

Appeal Sentencing Court: Beijing City High People’s Court

Appeal Ruling: Upheld original ruling

Verdict: Beijing City High People’s Court Criminal Verdict (Second-Instance: Chinese)



Liu is a Beijing-based writer, intellectual, dissident, and human rights activist. Before his current detention, Liu was the editor of the online journal Democratic China, and has served as the president of the independent Chinese PEN. In October 2010, after being detained, Liu became the first Chinese citizen awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Born December 28, 1955, Liu is a vocal critic of the Chinese government, and for his criticisms he has been repeatedly harassed and incarcerated. In 1989, Liu was jailed for 18 months for participating in the student democracy movement. In 1995, he was illegally detained for eight months in a Beijing suburb for issuing a public petition. In 1996, he was sent to three years of Re-education through Labor (RTL). From 1999 until his detention in 2008, Liu was placed under illegal “soft detention” at home.On December 8, 2008, a day before the issuance of “Charter 08,” a public appeal calling for bold reforms that promote democracy and human rights in China, Liu was taken away from his home by a dozen policemen. He was detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” for co-authoring and signing the petition as well as organizing others to sign it, with authorities alleging that Liu had incited the overturn of the socialist system through methods such as spreading rumors and slander.

Liu Xia (刘霞), Liu Xiaobo’s wife who herself is an activist, has lived under surveillance and “soft detention” at home since her husband’s arrest, facing restrictions on her freedom of movement and expression. She has only been able to go out of her residence in the company of national security officers, and she has been constantly warned not to post online messages or contact “sensitive” individuals. In mid-June 2012, details of Liu Xia’s ongoing circumstances under soft detention were posted online and in February 2014, a rare video was released of Liu Xia.


Further Information

Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Liu Xia (English version) (Chinese version)

Update to UN on Liu Xiaobo & Liu Xia, July 25, 2012, CHRD

Empty Chair Remains Empty: Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo Languishes in Prison – China Must Release Liu Xiaobo and End the Unlawful House Arrest of Liu Xia, October 6, 2011, CHRD

China Must End Political Repression, Release Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, December 8, 2010, CHRD

Chinese Reactions to Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize – from Both Sides, updated December 7, 2010, CHRD

Nobel Laureate Languishes in Prison, Police Harassment of Activists Rages On, November 8, 2010, CHRD

CHRD Hails Decision to Award Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, October 8, 2010, CHRD

Jail Sentence Upheld for Activist Liu Xiaobo, February 11, 2010, CHRD

Liu Xiaobo Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison, December 25, 2009, CHRD

Procuratorate Delivers Indictment against Liu Xiaobo, Trial Date to Be Set, December 11, 2009, CHRD

Human Rights Day in China: Liu Xiaobo Accused of ‘Major Crime’ for Drafting Charter 08, December 10, 2009, CHRD

Submission to UN on Liu Xiaobo: Urgent Appeal Alleging Arbitrary Detention to Penalize Freedom of Expression of PRC Candidate/Human Rights Defender Liu Xiaobo, June 30, 2009, CHRD

Liu Xiaobo Formally Arrested for ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’, June 24, 2009, CHRD

Lawyer for Liu Xiaobo Submits Formal Request Demanding Details of Activist’s Detention, February 11, 2009, CHRD

Submission to UN on Liu Xiaobo: Communique to Special Procedures on Behalf of PRC Citizen Liu Xiaobo, Alleging Arbitrary Detention, Violation of Free Expression, and Persecution of Human Rights Defenders, December 15, 2008, CHRD


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