Liu Xiaobo: Chinese Regime Arrests Well-known Dissident
Outspoken Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was formally arrested on Wednesday the 24th.
He’s being charged with suspicion of inciting subversion, a charge often used by the Communist Party to silence those who speak out against its dictatorship.
[Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo’s Wife]:
„They came knocking on my door at 11:00 a.m. and I was not up yet. I ran downstairs and ask who it was. They said it was the police. I asked them to come in and when they did they gave me the arrest warrant and asked me to sign it.“
Late last year, Liu was among 300+ dissidents and rights activists who launched „Charter 08“, a petition calling for the dismantling of China’s one-party rule and calling for the creation of a multi-party democracy.
About nine thousand people have since signed the petition.
Liu Xiaobo’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, says he hasn’t been allowed to represent his client. That’s because Mo was among the nine thousand signatories of Charter 08, which likely angered the communist regime.
[Mo Shaoping, Liu Xiaobo’s Lawyer]:
„They [the police] said who is your lawyer and Liu Xia told them it was me, Mo Shaoping, and the policeman said, ‚Mo Shaoping is not possible.‘ They said because Mo Shaoping has also signed Charter 08, that is what they told relatives. So, tomorrow I am going to file her relevant documents at the Public Security Bureau and I will ask them face to face, ‚under what situation, according to law, may I not act as Liu Xiaobo’s lawyer?'“
Mo says 53-year-old Liu could face a maximum of 15 years in prison if indicted and convicted.
Liu has been a thorn in the Chinese regime’s side since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Back then he joined a hunger strike in support of student protesters days before the army crushed the pro-democracy movement on June 4th.
Liu was jailed for 20 months in the wake of 1989 and again in the 1990s, spending three years at a labor camp and eight months under house arrest.
But he has remained a vocal and straight-shooting critic of the regime, often publishing essays on overseas Chinese websites.