Friday, March 25, 2011

Former 1989 Student Sentenced to 10 Years

There is little public record on what exactly Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌) did in 1989. But whatever he, then a junior in People's University, did was enough for him to be arrested in the aftermath and sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in 1992. That was the first time he saw prison.

After serving that term, he joined forces with fellow student leader Wang Dan, who was also released from his own prison term at the time, and attempted to continue their pro-democracy efforts in China. In 1996, Wang Dan was arrested again and sent into exile shortly after receiving an 11-year sentence. Liu Xianbin stayed put. In 1998, he participated in the organization of an opposition party in China and was once again sentenced to a 13-year prison term.

By now he has been spending a significant chunk of his adult life in jail. But he wasn't done yet. Shortly after his most recent release, he plunged into the then-fledging "Chart of 08" signature drive. On July 5, 2010, he was arrested for the third time.

Today, Liu Xianbin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for "subversion". His last public words were his desperate shouts in the courtroom: "I am innocent! I protest!"

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