Monday, January 04, 2010

Liu Xiaobo sentenced to 11 years imprisonment


Sydney PEN is shocked and dismayed by the sentencing of dissident Chinese writer and academic Liu Xiaobo to 11 years imprisonment on charges of "subverting state power". The trial was held on December 23, 2009 in Beijing, following Liu's detention late last year. The trial concluded without providing a verdict until Friday, December 25. Liu was detained shortly before the publication of Charter 08, a petition which he co-wrote and which was signed by numerous Chinese intellectuals and writers in December 2008 calling for political reforms including an end to the Communist Party's single-party rule.

Since Liu's detention, Sydney PEN has joined International PEN, Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC) and other PEN centres in the region and worldwide in publically protesting the charges against him. The American government, the UN joined hundreds of international writers in the movement in favour of Liu's release.

According to International PEN, around 100 journalists were surrounded by the police near the No. 1 Intermate People's Court where Liu's trial was held. It was reported that many of the activists were restricted at home while others were blocked by the police when trying to go to the court. A few tens were said being detained. Most of them were released shortly after while Liu Di, a member of ICPC, has been still missing since someone saw her in a police car near the court. According to some of her friends, she had sent a statement to publish before she left home at 6:40 in the morning of December 23. According to her statement published, she had decided to give up to the police for complying with her promise to share responsibility with Liu Xiaobo.

Sydney PEN has not received further news of Liu Di,
a Beijing resident. A translation of her statement is presented below.

My Statement of Confession - Willing to Share Responsibility for Offence
with Liu Xiaobo
By Liu Di
December 23, 2009, the day of Xiaobo's trial
To: The Beijing First Intermediate People's Court, the No. 1 Branch of
Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate and the Beijing Municipal Public
Security Bureau

I am Liu Di, also known as Stainless Steel Mouse on Internet.
Considering that the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and the No. 1 Branch of Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate have completed the
investigation and prosecution of Liu Xiaobo's case of inciting subversion of state power and delivered to the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court to be tried on December 23, considering that three organs mentioned above have taken Charter 08 as an important criminal evidence against Liu Xiaobo, and considering that I am one of the signatories and organizing plotters, I am now "giving up to confess" to you according to the paragraphs 3 and 4 of PRC Criminal Procedure Law. I declare the followings:

My "giving up to confess" does not mean that I agree that your allegations and trial against Liu Xiaobo is lawful and just. On the contrary, I believe that the Charter 08, which , Liu Xiaobo and other has drafted, organized, planned and signed, is an outstanding service to promote the country to constitutional democracy and benefit nation's future and people's welfare. I am honored and proud to have been in it.

Since you has accounted Mr. Liu Xiaobo's launching of the Charter
movement as a crime based on your special values, I must be an integral part of this case because I not only completely agree with the spiritual value of this document but also have been involved in its organizing, planning and operating activities. I should be an accomplice of Liu Xiaobo's case. According to the principle of equality before law, you should take me as Liu Xiaobo's accomplice to judge us together, but not make selective justice to leave out such an important criminal suspect as me.

As a judgment of values, a judicial trial should be examined by history. Czech Republic's Charter 77 movement in 1977, Taiwan's Formosa Incident in 1979, and China's Charter 08 movement in 2008 are all the just acts of the people fighting for human rights, freedom and democracy. The former two campaigns have already been justified by history, and so will the latter. As judicial staff, you should bear in mind to safeguard the dignity of the Constitution. To safeguard the people's constitutional rights is your bounden duty.

In 2003, I published an article, Worms of Persimmon Oil (liberals) surrendering to the Party and Government, condemning the authorities for violation of the citizens' constitutional rights to freedom of expression, and so had been detained for one year on the charges cooked up by the Beijing Public Security Bureau. I have known well that losing freedom is a great pain of life, thus full of fear and boredom of imprisonment. However, for the dignity of Constitution and laws, and for no more imprisonment of the people in the future due to their free speeches and independent opinions, I would prefer to share with Mr. Liu Xiaobo the same case with the same penalty.

(The Independent Chinese PEN is among 145 member centers of the International
PEN, the oldest human rights organization and international literary
organization. It aims to protect Chinese writers' freedom of speech and
freedom to write worldwise and advocates for the rights of Chinese writers
and journalists who are imprisoned, threatened, persecuted or harassed. For
more information on ICPC's work, please visit

International PEN Sydney Centre

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