Top Chinese dissident appeals against sentence for subversion
Leading Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has appealed against an 11-year prison sentence for subversion, his lawyer said on Tuesday, dpa reported.
Liu lodged his appeal following a Beijing court's decision on December 25 to imprison him on charges of "inciting subversion of state power," lawyer Shang Baojun told the German Press Agency dpa.
"We are still waiting for an official response," Shang said of Liu's appeal.
The charges against Liu related to his organization of Charter '08, a blueprint for the transformation of Communist-ruled China into a liberal democracy, and to political essays he posted on the internet.
His arrest and imprisonment drew widespread condemnation from Western politicians and human rights groups.
A statement released by the EU presidency in Stockholm called the sentence "excessive" and said it raised concern about respect for human rights and the right to a fair trial in China.
Shang earlier expressed his surprise at the severity of the sentence handed to Liu, 53, a writer and critic who was previously imprisoned for his role in China's 1989 democracy movement.
Liu was detained again in December 2008, shortly before the release of Charter '08 for democratic reform in China, which he co-organized.
In the charter, 303 leading dissidents, activists and writers set out their ideals for building a democratic nation and lamented a lack of "freedom, equality and human rights" under the ruling Communist Party.
Since its release, more than 10,000 people have added their names to the charter online.
Liu was also charged at his trial with writing six articles in which he criticized the dictatorial rule of the Communist Party.
The Chinese Human Rights Defenders quoted Liu as saying via his lawyers that he believed his trial violated the Chinese constitution as well as international human rights conventions.
"The day will come when China becomes a free, democratic country," the group quoted Liu as saying. "For an intellectual fighting for that freedom, prison is the first threshold, and I have already crossed that threshold."