Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement in Berlin today (10 June):
The conviction of Liu Hui, the brother-in-law of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, has nothing to do with the rule of law. It is telling that embassy representatives from Western countries were not allowed to observe the trial. The charges brought against him are unfounded and suggest a vendetta against the whole family. The 11‑year prison sentence and two additional years of probation are totally unacceptable.
I call upon the Chinese authorities to quash this sentence and to release Liu Hui without delay. I also request the release of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and the suspension of the house arrest of his wife Liu Xia.
In a suburb at Beijing, the sentence was handed down on Sunday, 9 June. In the trial of Liu Hui, the brother-in-law of the imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, on charges of fraud. Liu was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment and two additional years of probation – exactly the same sentence as his brother-in-law Liu Xiaobo.
As on the first day of the trial this April, Liu Xia, the wife of Liu Xiaobo and sister of Liu Hui, who has been under house arrest since 2010, was allowed to attend the trial.
Representatives of the EU Delegation and from the embassies of the United States, France, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Norway and Germany have tried in vain to attend the trial as observers but waited in front of the court building as a gesture of solidarity.