25 Dec 2009

Prison term for dissident writer

3:36 pm on 25 December 2009

A leading dissident in China, Liu Xiaobo, has been jailed for 11 years for "inciting subversion of state power".

The trial followed his co-authorship of a document last year calling for political reform.

A writer and former university professor, he was also a veteran of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

Liu has been in prison since 2008, after being arrested for writing a document known as Charter 08.

The charter called for greater freedoms and democratic reforms in China, including an end to Communist one-party rule.

Liu's trial began on Wednesday: western diplomats and journalists were barred from attendance.

The BBC reports the EU, United States and human rights groups denounced the trial as political, but China accused them of meddling.