Vaclav Havel and other Czech dissidents stand up for Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Editor's note: When a group led by former Czech president Vaclev Havel went to the Chinese Embassy in Prague this week to deliver an open letter in support of the recently sentenced human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, officials would not open the door. The Post reprints the letter below.

His Excellency Hu Jintao

President of the People's Republic of China

State Council

Beijing 100032

P.R. China

Prague, Jan. 6, 2010

Your Excellency,

On Dec. 23, the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court -- after holding him for over a year without trial -- sentenced respected intellectual and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power."

Mr. President, we would like you to know that we do not consider this trial an independent judicial process in which neither you nor your government can interfere. In fact, it is just the opposite. Mr. Liu's trial was the result of a political order for which you carry ultimate political responsibility. We are convinced that this trial and harsh sentence meted out to a respected, well-known and prominent citizen of your country merely for thinking and speaking critically about various political and social issues was chiefly meant as a stern warning to others not to follow his path.

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