News24

China: Respect our independence

2009-12-29 18:08

Beijing - China told the West on Tuesday to respect its judicial independence after several countries, including the United States, condemned the sentencing of a leading dissident to 11 years in prison.

"This case was conducted publicly and handled in strict accordance with the law," foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told reporters.

"We hope relevant countries will respect China's judicial independence and will not interfere in China's judicial sovereignty and internal affairs."

A Beijing court on Friday sentenced Liu Xiaobo, a 54-year-old writer, to 11 years in prison for subversion, prompting strong condemnation from the US, the European Union and Canada.

Liu, previously jailed over the 1989 Tiananmen protests, was detained a year ago after co-authoring Charter 08, a bold manifesto calling for the reform of China's one-party communist system and the protection of human rights.

His case has generated concern in the West over China's human rights record, especially in the US, which urged Beijing to "respect the rights of all Chinese citizens to peacefully express their political views".

Canada and the European Union also condemned the sentence.