Leading Chinese political dissident Liu Xiaobo was sentenced by the Chinese government to 11 years in jail for “inciting subversion of state power”; additionally Liu is banned from speaking or writing about politics at all for two years. Liu is one of China’s most high profile advocates of free speech and democracy. He was on trial for his role as a leading author of Charter 08, a courageous document released a year ago calling for the end to one-party rule and other liberalizing political reforms. It was signed by thousands of leading dissidents and intellectuals inside China, including Tibet’s most vocal advocate for freedom from inside Tibet, Woeser.
The jailing of Liu for a thought crime is yet another sign that economic growth and access by western multinational corporations has not liberalized the Chinese Communist Party nor sped realization democracy within China.
The State Department has a standard, milquetoast statement out, but nothing from Secretary of State Clinton nor President Obama. Human rights hasn’t been high on the agenda for the online progressive movement this past year, but Clinton & Obama’s handling of China when it comes to human rights has been one of the biggest disappointments during the first year of the administration for me personally.