China turns down parole bid from jailed Nobel peace laureate

(From Radio Free Asia)

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has denied an application for parole by jailed Chinese Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, a Hong Kong-based rights group reported, as U.S. and Chinese officials geared up for an annual dialogue on human rights in Washington on Thursday.

“Three brothers of … Liu Xiaobo were given permission to visit him in Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning last Tuesday, after a wait of 13 months,” the Information Center for Democracy and Human Rights in China said in a statement on its website.

“Liu Xiaobo told them that his request for a reduction in sentence had been denied, and that he can’t make another application for another three years,” it said.

Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo

“His brother Liu Xiaoguang said that Liu Xiaobo … criticized the prison authorities for denying him the right to be in contact with friends and family, which is against the Constitution,” the group said.

It said Liu Xiaobo, 59, is still paying close attention to political developments in China, where the administration of President Xi Jinping last month launched a nationwide police operation targeting rights attorneys, paralegals, and legal activists.

Liu, who was jailed in 2009 for 11 years for “incitement to subvert state power,” is unlikely to qualify for parole, because he has never admitted to committing any crime.

Liu Xiaobo’s continued imprisonment has been cited by rights groups as an emblem of Beijing’s poor record, ahead of China-U.S. human rights dialogues, which run in Washington Thursday through Friday.

A literary critic and former professor, Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China” in a decision that infuriated Beijing, which says he has broken Chinese law.

He has been held since 2008 after helping to draft Charter 08, a manifesto calling for sweeping changes in China’s government that was signed by thousands of supporters. Read more


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