Leading China dissident to be tried Wednesday: family
Mon, Dec 21, 2009
BEIJING - Leading Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo will be tried this week on subversion charges, his wife said Monday, more than a year after he was detained following his co-authoring of a bold pro-democracy petition.
"He will be tried on Wednesday," his wife Liu Xia told AFP by phone.
"I have no hope whatsoever, I can't even attend the trial."
The 53-year-old writer, who was involved in the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy protests, was arrested last December after co-authoring Charter 08, a widely circulated petition that called for greater democracy in China.
Rights groups in China said they had feared that after holding Liu for more than a year without trial, officials would rush the case through the courts during the Western holiday season in a bid to attract less global attention.
"We are seriously concerned that Liu will not get a fair and open trial, and his legal rights will not be respected," said Jiang Yingying, a researcher for China Human Rights Defenders.
Both the United States and European Union have urged China to free Liu and end the harassment and detention of political dissidents - calls that Beijing has rejected as "unacceptable."
Liu's case will be heard at the Beijing Number One Intermediate People's Court, Liu Xia said.