According to Reporters Without Borders

"Arrested in December 2008, Liu spent nearly a year in prison before being formally charged with subversion on 12 December. His trial on 23 December was accompanied by a high degree of police surveillance. Dozens of foreign journalists, foreign diplomats and Liu supporters were kept away from the courthouse. Liu’s wife, who had wanted to attend, was prevented from leaving her home.

This is not the first time that the Christmas period has proved to be particularly dangerous for Chinese human rights activists."

 

Jonathan Fryer, a freelance writer who writes for the BBC and The Guardian, has also commented about Xiaobo's sentence in his blog. He calls the whole episode shameful.

"Shameless governments have a habit of doing nasty things over Christmas, when they hope most of the world’s journalists aren’t looking — or are on holiday. Think the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Israel’s Operation Cast Lead and now China’s disgraceful sentencing of the dissident writer Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison for his political and human rights activities. Perhaps best known abroad as the founder of Charter 08, the Chinese group calling for constitutional reform, Mr Liu has been a sturdy champion of fundamental rights since he took part in the quashed 1989 pro-democracy movement. His jailing, for an unusually long time, is a moral outrage which should be protested most strongly by all decent politicians and NGOs around the world."

Here is Xiaobo, speaking to the PEN American Center about free press and freedom of speech. This video is at YouTube.

With all China has achieved in last decade, it is really shameful that they chose to end it by sentencing for eleven years a man whose only mistake was advocating for freedom. China has successfully integrated capitalism into its communist structure; how long will take for the country to embrace and integrate democratic values too?

 

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