20 February 2018

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12/09/2009 CHINA

A year after his arrest Charter 08 leader to be formally charged

Dissident and former university professor Liu Xiaobo was arrested for allegedly inciting subversion after he signed Charter 08, an appeal calling on the government to implement democracy, religious freedom and human rights and thus save the country’s economic progress.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A year after he was arrested, dissident Liu Xiaobo is closer to a formal trial. The university professor signed along with 300 people a public petition, called Charter 08, calling on the country’s leader to fulfil the Chinese’s desire for democracy and freedom for China as the only way to save the country’s economic progress and protect it from the distortions caused by dictatorship, corruption, and social and environmental imbalance (See “Charter 08, a plea for human rights in China | complete text,” in AsiaNews, 26 January 2009).

Liu’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, said police are close to wrapping up their investigation and handing the matter over to prosecutors. This would put the spotlight back on a case that drew a lot of criticism of China’s one party system.

Some Western political leaders had expressed concern over Liu’s arrest. The 53-year-old has been a thorn in the regime’s side since 1989 when he joined a hunger strike in support of student protesters.

He was later jailed for 20 months and then spent three years in a “labour through re-education” camp during the 1990s.

Last June he was arrested and charged with inciting subversion, a broad accusation that covers criticism of the government and its policies.

Charter 08 had broad resonance in China and around the world and was adopted by hundreds of thousands of people.

“If the Procuratorate concludes that the public security agency has clearly established a case backed by evidence, it can then decide to initiate a prosecution in court,” Mo told the press yesterday

Prosecutors now have 45 days to reject the case or call for further investigation. However, this has never happened in cases involving dissidents, and Liu’s chances of avoiding trial are slim, Mo said.

See also

24/12/2009 CHINA
Bao Tong: The verdict against Liu Xiaobo marks the end of the Chinese constitution
The author of Charter 08 on trial yesterday for "subversion", awaits his verdict tomorrow. Condemning Liu means condemning freedom of expression that is defended in the Chinese constitution. The Party with its "arbitrary and monopolistic" exercise of power is the real "subversive".

11/12/2009 CHINA
Liu Xiaobo charged for subversion; open letter of 200 signatories of Charter '08
The trial of the author of the document for democracy in China should start between four to six weeks. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. Among the "evidence" against him is the text of the Charter. The 200 signatories - 165 in China - also ask to be indicted, "we share the same values."

24/06/2009 CHINA
Liu Xiaobo of Charter 08 accused of "subversion against the power of the state"
The petitioner (and perhaps the author) of the Charter 08 demanded political reforms, freedom of association, independence of the judiciary. He risks at least 15 years in prison. The police refuse Mo Shaoping, the defence lawyer chosen by his wife because he too is a signatory of Charter 08.

23/12/2009 CHINA
Liu Xiaobo will be sentenced on Christmas Day
The trial held today lasted only 2 hours. Representatives of foreign governments were excluded from the court. Liu faces up to 15 years for "subversion of state power". Bao Tong: I agree with him. I should be prosecuted too. The Chinese constitution a "farce".

24/08/2009 VIETNAM
Catholic priest from Hue defends activists humiliated on State TV
They "confessed" their crimes against the Vietnamese government and appealed for "clemency". They are all part of Block 8406, an illegal movement for democracy. The priest, who also risks jail, defends them: the confessions were extracted under torture.

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