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China court upholds sentence on leading dissident

Last Updated: Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 11:55

Beijing: A Beijing court on Wednesday upheld on appeal an 11-year prison term for leading Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was jailed on subversion charges, triggering swift US and EU criticism.
Washington and Brussels called for the immediate release of the 54-year-old Liu, who was first detained in December 2008 after co-authoring a bold manifesto calling for political reform in China.

The United States also hit out at what it called the "persecution" of individuals for expressing their political views, saying it was inconsistent with globally recognised human rights standards.

"The sentence was confirmed," one of Liu`s attorneys, Shang Baojun, said after a brief hearing at the Beijing High People`s Court.

The initial conviction of Liu, who was previously jailed over the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy protests, also sparked international condemnation and calls from Western governments and rights groups for his release.

The subversion charge, which was also related to anti-government articles written by the 54-year-old Liu that were posted on the Internet, is routinely brought against those who voice opposition to China`s ruling Communist Party.

The dissident`s wife Liu Xia had said earlier this week that she was not optimistic that Liu would be given a reprieve.


First Published: Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 11:55

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