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Home The News News Western nations protest rejection of Liu Xiaobo’s appeal

Western nations protest rejection of Liu Xiaobo’s appeal

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The US, the UK and the EU protested a decision by a Chinese court to uphold the 11-year prison sentence for Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), a political dissident convicted last year on subversion charges after promoting a manifesto calling for China to become a democracy.

“We are disappointed by the Chinese government’s decision to uphold Liu Xiaobo’s sentence of 11 years in prison on the charge of ‘inciting subversion of state power,’” US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said in a statement yesterday. “We believe that he should not have been sentenced in the first place and should be released immediately.”

Liu’s December conviction was upheld by a Beijing court yesterday, AFP reported, citing one of Liu’s lawyers.

The EU delegation in China said in a statement that the verdict against Liu is “entirely incompatible with his right to freedom of expression” and also called for his release.

“We are very disappointed that Liu Xiaobo’s appeal has been unsuccessful,” a British Foreign Office spokesman said.

“The decision once again calls into question freedom of expression in China,” he said, adding that the decision had “rightly been condemned” by the EU.

Liu’s case is one of several issues straining ties between China and the US and EU. China considers the diplomatic protests an affront to its sovereignty.

“China brooks no interference in its internal judicial affairs,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu (馬朝旭) told reporters yesterday in Beijing. “China has no dissidents.”

The former Columbia University visiting scholar had been in police custody since December 2008 for his role in organizing Charter 08.

Source: Taipei Times 2010/02/12

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