China: rights activist sentenced to 11 years for "subversion"
Chinese rights activist Liu Xiabo was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Dec. 25 on subversion charges. Liu was tried two days earlier in a trial that lasted only two hours and was closed to foreign diplomats. The trial was called "a travesty of justice" by international rights groups in including Human Rights Watch, which said before the trial that although "Liu's crimes are non-existent ... his fate has been pre-determined." It is unclear whether Liu's legal team will appeal the sentence.
Liu, who spent two years in prison following the Tiananmen Square massacre, has long challenged China's one-party rule, and co-authored Charter 08, a petition calling for political reforms in the country. Liu was arrested in June and charged earlier this month, but he has been in detention since last December, shortly before the petition's release. In June, rights groups marked the 20th anniversary of the 1989 massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, calling for the government to investigate the incident and implement changes called for by Charter 08. (Jurist, Dec. 25)
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