Thursday, February 18, 2010

U.S., EU Criticize China for Sentence

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BEIJING—A Chinese court upheld an 11-year prison sentence for writer Liu Xiaobo on subversion charges Thursday, prompting swift rebukes from the U.S. and European Union governments that underscore growing international concern over Beijing's human-rights practices.

The rejection of his appeal by a Beijing court had been expected. But the response was unusually swift and coordinated, with the U.S. and EU missions in Beijing releasing statements almost immediately after the decision, criticizing it and calling for Mr. Liu's immediate release.

"We are disappointed by the Chinese Government's decision," said the U.S. statement, attributed to Ambassador Jon Huntsman. "We believe that he should not have been sentenced in the first place and should be released immediately." The EU said the verdict against Mr. Liu "is entirely incompatible with his right to freedom of expression."

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