Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo Loses Appeal

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A Beijing court rejected an appeal from dissident Liu Xiaobo on Thursday. The court upheld an 11-year prison sentence handed down to Liu on Christmas Day.

The Beijing High Court told Liu that his appeal against the conviction for "inciting subversion of state power" would not be overturned or shortened. According to his lawyer, Liu told the court he was innocent after the ruling was read.

Liu's lawyer and his wife, Liu Xia, expressed their disappointment, but were not surprised at the decision of the court.

[Liu Xia, Wife of Liu Xiaobo]:
"I knew from the start that this verdict would be only one thing: an upholding of the original verdict. Because the government is just that kind of government, you can't have any expectations of them."

Liu, who is now 54, was convicted for helping organize "Charter 08," a document calling for sweeping political reforms in China.

He was also prominent in student-led pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Both the United States and the European Union had urged Chinese authorities to release Liu immediately. The US Embassy said the Obama administration had raised its concerns over the case at "high levels" in Beijing.

Liu Xia said she was grateful for the international support, but that more needed to be done.

[Liu Xia, Wife of Liu Xiaobo]:
"The international community have done a lot, but I think there is more hope in all the peace-and freedom-loving people of the world carrying on and putting on more pressure."

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