By Scott McDonald ,AP
BEIJING — A spokesman for the Beijing court that upheld an 11-year prison sentence for Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo denounced the award on Friday in the latest indication China will brush aside international calls for his release. The unidentified spokesman for the Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court, quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency, said giving the peace prize to Liu was a rude interference in China’s judicial sovereignty. His comments are the latest in a series in China’s state-run media denouncing the prize and accusing Western countries of trying to interfere in China’s internal affairs. China has accused the West of using the Nobel Prize to undermine China and called Liu a criminal. Liu, a literary critic and activist, is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion after co-authoring a bold appeal known as Charter 08 calling for reforms to the country’s single-party Communist political system.
“China’s judicial organs will strictly follow Chinese law and the court verdict, which has come into effect, to execute the punishment given to Liu,” the spokesman was quoted as saying. “We strongly oppose some people making arbitrary criticism on China’s judicatory with double standards,” the spokesman said. In addition to Liu Xia, others who have been detained or have been unreachable include Ding Zilin, the spokeswoman for Tiananmen Mothers, a group she founded for people whose children were killed in the crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Dissident author Yu Jie has also been put under house arrest, the advocacy group Human Rights in China said in a statement. “The continuing crackdown confirms the seriousness of human rights abuses in China and the need to speak out against these abuses,” said Sharon Hom, the executive director of the group. “If the Chinese authorities persist in their actions, they will only further display their lack of confidence and undermine their assertions of progress.” Chinese authorities have refused to say which law gives them the right to hold Liu Xia under house arrest and prevent her from meeting with journalists. The government’s response also appears to indicate that China will not let Liu Xia or any others leave the country to accept the award for Liu Xiaobo at a ceremony in Norway on Dec. 10. (Related story on page 11)