In Berlin today (16 August) Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement:
Sadly, the confirmation of the sentencing of Liu Hui, brother-in-law of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, to 11 years in prison with two additional years’ deprivation of political rights, seriously calls into question the rule of law in China once again. The case against Liu Xiabao’s family is nothing other than political retribution. The judgement is completely unacceptable. It is telling that embassy representatives from Western countries were, once again, not allowed to observe the trial.
I urge the Chinese authorities to release Liu Hui immediately. I also call for the release of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and the suspension of the unlawful house arrest of his wife, Liu Xia.
Today, Friday 16 August, a court in a Beijing suburb ruled to uphold the verdict handed down by the court of first instance to Liu Hui, the brother-in-law of the imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who is still in prison. On 9 June 2013 Liu was sentenced 11 years in prison and a further two years’ deprivation of political rights – exactly the same sentence that was given to his brother-in-law Liu Xiaobo.
A renewed appeal against the verdict cannot be lodged. Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo’s wife and Liu Hui’s sister, could not attend today’s trial due to ill health. She has been under house arrest since 2010.
Representatives from the embassies of Germany, France, Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, the United States, Canada and of the EU delegation tried in vain to gain access to the trial as observers, but nevertheless waited in front of the court building as a gesture of solidarity.