This may come as no surprise to most of us, but the sad news reached us today that China has upheld Liu Xiaobo’s sentencing to 11 years in prison for subversion of state power.
US ambassador Jon Huntsman said,
We are disappointed by the Chinese Government’s decision. (…) We believe that he should not have been sentenced in the first place and should be released immediately.
Amnesty International, meanwhile, said China had missed an opportunity to ‘right a wrong’. Roseann Rife, an Asia-Pacific official for the organisation, said,
His harsh sentence is a stark reminder to the Chinese people and the world that there is still no freedom of expression or independent judiciary in China.
This also follows the recent sentencing of Tan Zuoren, who faces five years for seeking to document the poor construction of the schools that fatally collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Today’s poignant decision cast a sombre mood over those caught in the struggle for China’s democratisation. As Michael Anti tweeted,
Feb 11, 1990, Mandela walked out of the jail. 20 yrs later, Feb 11, 2010, Li Xiaobo was confirmed 11 yrs sentence.
Liu Xiaobo’s Trial is the morning call for every Chinese democrat. See you soon, my dear Mr Mandela.