Friday, December 25, 2009

130) Politica repression in China: Chart 08 advocate is sentenced

China Steals Christmas
The trial of democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo

Editorial The Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2009

Chinese leader Hu Jintao is putting Christmas to the most cynical use imaginable: jailing a prominent dissident on a holiday when most of the world's media and government workers will be preoccupied with family and friends.

While millions of Christians are commemorating the day "grace and truth" became incarnate in Bethlehem, Liu Xiaobo will be sentenced for speaking truth to communist power. This callous exploitation of Christmas should inspire freedom-loving people, whether Christian or not, to keep Mr. Liu and his family in their thoughts over the holiday.

Mr. Liu, a drafter of the Charter 08 manifesto a year ago calling for political reform, is so far the only one of more than 8,000 signatories to be arrested and tried for subversion. His trial comes in the midst of an intensifying crackdown on all forms of dissent. Mr. Liu was subjected to a two-hour "trial" yesterday—his wife, chosen lawyer and outside observers were excluded—and the verdict is due to be announced on Friday morning.

Why cite Mr. Hu, the secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party, as the ultimate culprit? For one thing, we know the decision on the sentencing of a dissident of Mr. Liu's importance is made at the Politburo level. Mr. Liu has already been in detention for a year, and his indictment was rushed through in early December to make a Christmas trial possible, as has been done with other dissidents.

A U.S. State Department spokesman rightly denounced the trial yesterday, saying that "As far as we can tell, this man's crime was simply signing a piece of paper that aspires to a more open and participatory form of government." He added that such "a political trial" is "uncharacteristic of a great country." Alas, it's far too characteristic of this Chinese government that still fears its own people.


To read the Chart 08, go to this link:

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