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Chinese Author Expected to Be Sentenced on Christmas Day

Yesterday Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo pleaded not guilty to subversion charges in a three hour trial, the PEN American Center reports. The organization anticipates that the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court will release a verdict tomorrow.

On December 8, 2008, Chinese authorities arrested Independent Chinese PEN Center board member and author Liu Xiaobo. Since his imprisonment, supporters around the world have petitioned for his release. 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.

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.

PEN American Center’s director of Freedom to Write and International Programs Larry Siems had this statement: “It is certainly not reassuring that the court is planning on announcing the verdict on Christmas Day, when they undoubtedly hope the world’s attention will be turned away … But the world is watching this story closely with the hope that Liu will be released according to Chinese laws guaranteeing freedom of expression. We are looking to the court to follow the rule of law.”

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