Liu Xiaobo, a prominent government critic and veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests, could be jailed for 15 years if convicted, reported the BBC. He has been in jail since 2008, after being arrested for writing a document calling for political reform in China. Liu, a writer and former university professor, has already spent years in prison, under house arrest or under close monitoring since playing a leading role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests. He was arrested again in December 2008, after he co-authored a document known as Charter 08. Since Liu’s arrest, Western governments, rights groups, scholars and a group of Nobel Prize winners have called for his release. Bao Tong, the most senior official imprisoned following the Tiananmen massacre, also put his name to Charter 08 and said he should be included in the case. “If Liu Xiaobo is to be tried, then I should be tried as well,” the AFP news agency quoted him saying, “If he is found guilty, this will be a problem because it will mean that the freedom of speech and freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution are fake.”

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