Canada Deplores China’s Sentencing of Liu Xiaobo

(No. 396 - December 25, 2009 – 11:55 a.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the 11-year prison sentence given to Chinese intellectual and dissident Liu Xiaobo by the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court:

“Canada deplores the sentencing of Liu Xiaobo, whom we believe is being punished for exercising his right to peaceful and non-violent freedom of expression.

“Canada is concerned by Mr. Liu’s lengthy detention, which began a year ago. We are also deeply concerned by the circumstances of his trial, which was not open, and to which family members and foreign observers—including Canadian Embassy representatives—were denied access.

“As we have done since Mr. Liu’s detention began, Canada once again urges China to release him without condition.

“The Government of Canada is fully committed to promoting freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada