Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of Liu Xianbin
, a netizen who has been held in Suining detention centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan since June and who is being denied due process while his trial should occur soon. The fact that Liu is being refused access to his lawyers and other fundamental rights suggests that prosecutors intend to try him behind closed doors and impose a very harsh penalty.
One of Liu’s lawyers, Mo Shaoping, has not been able to see him since 28 June. The other, Ma Xiopeng, was last able to talk to him on 5 November. Neither has had any contact with him since then. His wife has not been allowed to see him since his arrest and none of her letters has been given to him.
Liu is charged with inciting subversion of state authority for writing about the 1989 massacre of protesters in Tiananmen Square and the imprisonment of fellow dissident Liu Xiaobo (this year’s Nobel peace laureate). He is one of the founders of China’s pro-democracy movement and is a signatory of the Charter 08 manifesto, which Liu Xiaobo helped to draft
He has been convicted on subversion charges twice in the past. The first time was in 1992, when he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. The second time was in 1999, when he was given a 13-year sentence. He was freed in 2008 after his sentence had been reduced for “good conduct” (read the article