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Jail Sentence Upheld for Activist Liu Xiaobo

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders,February 11, 2010) – CHRD learnedtoday that the Beijing Municipal High Court rejected the appeal of LiuXiaobo (刘晓波), China’sbest-known dissident intellectual and humanrights activist. Liu was convicted of “inciting subversion of statepower” and sentencedto 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 theruling wasannounced. The court was otherwise packed with government officials. Ajudgespent less than ten minutes reading out the prepared ruling, and Liu’slawyerswere not permitted to speak in court. After hearing the decision, Liumaintainedhis innocence, stating, “I am not guilty!” Lawyers Shang and Ding wereescortedinto and out of the court by members of the Lawyers Management Office,a bodyoverseen by the Beijing Bureau of Justice, to prevent them fromspeaking withmembers of the public and the media.  “The fact that a succession ofhigh-profile activists—Huang Qi, TanZuoren and Liu Xiaobo—have been convicted or have had their verdictsupheld inthe past week indicates that the Chinese government is feelingincreasinglyinsecure about any challenges to its legitimacy,” said a local CHRDassociatewho is following the case.  A number of dissidents, activists, andliberal intellectuals in Beijing—includingZhang Zuhua (张祖桦), Wang Debang (王德邦), LiHai (李海), Hu Shigen (胡石根),Gao Hongming (高洪明) andothers—were put under “soft detention” onFebruary 10 and 11 to prevent them from attending or reporting on thehearing. Thepolice had also cordoned off areas around the courthouse, making itimpossiblefor Liu’s supporters to go near or attempt to enter the court.  According to Liu Xia, who met with herhusband for twenty minutes atthe detention facility after the decision was announced, Liu Xiaobosaid hewould be spending the Spring Festival in Beijing Municipal DetentionCenter. Followingthe holiday, however, he does not know whether he will serve hissentence inBeijing or in his hometown of Dalian, Liaoning Province. CHRD reiterates its call for Liu’simmediate 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, “刘晓波案二审庭审过程,” February 11, 2010, “Liu Xiaobo Sentenced to 11 Years inPrison,” December 25, 2009, “Liu Xiaobo to be Tried for “IncitingSubversion of State Power” onDecember 23,” December 21, 2009, “Procuratorate Delivers Indictmentagainst Liu Xiaobo, Trial Date to BeSet,” December 11, 2009, “Human Rights Day in China: Liu XiaoboAccused of ‘Major Crime’ forDrafting Charter 08,” December 10, 2009,/Article/Class9/Class10/200912/20091210040528_18780.html  “As Charter 08 Anniversary Nears, LiuXiaobo Languishes Behind Barswithout Trial,” December 3, 2009,/Article/Class9/Class15/200912/20091203054539_18667.html  “Liu Xiaobo Formally Arrested for‘Inciting Subversion of StatePower,’” June 24, 2009, “Over One Hundred Signatories HarassedSince Launch of Charter 08,”January 8, 2009, “Liu Xiaobo under ResidentialSurveillance at Undisclosed Location,”January 2, 2009, “Chinese Government Responds with aCrackdown on Activists forCommemorating 60th Anniversary of UDHR," December 9, 2008, “‘Inciting Subversion of State Power:’ ALegal Tool for ProsecutingFree Speech in China,” January 8, 2008, Media Contacts: Renee Xia, International Director(English and Mandarin), +852 81916937 or +1 301 547 9286Jiang Yingying, Researcher (English andMandarin), +852 8170 0237

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