Following a trial that lasted less than three hours, a Beijing court has sentenced Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo to 11-years in prison and and “two years’ deprivation of political rights” for subversion in his writings.
One year ago, Chinese authorities arrested Xiaobo (pictured), a member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center board. According to the PEN American Center, the Chinese author was arrested for the crime of ‘inciting subversion of state power’ by writing about political reform in China.
PEN American Center President Kwame Anthony Appiah had this statement: “PEN American Center stands in solidarity with our fellow writer, Liu Xiaobo, and with his family. We must keep attention on his case–and his courageous example–as we fight for his release in the days and months ahead. The Chinese government must understand how the world views Liu’s trial and conviction. If his great nation with its extraordinary cultural traditions is to play the role in the world to which her government and her people now aspire, the regime is going to have to learn to respect the fundamental rights of her own citizens.”
He concluded: “We wish the Chinese government could find better ways to acknowledge the significance of her writers than throwing them in prison. We call on President Hu Jintao to reverse this injustice and to release Liu and the scores of other Chinese who have been imprisoned for simply speaking their minds.”
Xiaobo is speaking in the video above. In 1989, he joined the pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square. Seven years later Xiaobo was sentenced to three years in a labor camp for writing another document that criticized Chinese government’s policies.