Liu Hui, brother-in-law of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, has lost his appeal against an 11-year prison sentence for fraud. Supporters see his case as part of a pattern of retribution against activists’ families, which U.S. officials recently identified as a particularly “worrisome trend” amid a general deterioration of human rights in China. From Sui-Lee Wee at Reuters:
Liu Tong, Liu Hui’s brother, told reporters he was furious at the verdict.
“This result fundamentally will make anyone angry, especially his family members. Because at its heart, it’s a miscarriage of justice,” he said. “The government says daily it wants to prevent wrongful convictions, miscarriages of justice from happening, but everyone knows that this is a miscarriage of justice.”
[…] Liu Hui was allowed out on bail last September, but arrested again in January, after several rights activists and foreign reporters forced their way past security guards late last year to visit [his sister and Liu Xiaobo’s wife] Liu Xia, lawyer Shang told Reuters previously. [Source]
See coverage of the two visits to Liu Xia via CDT. In June, Liu Xia wrote an open letter to Xi Jinping about her brother’s case, and announced plans to sue Beijing police for her illegal house arrest and to petition for her husband’s case to be reopened. She was not present at Friday’s hearing, reportedly due to her “very fragile” health. Authorities may have meant to avoid a repeat of her appearance at Liu Hui’s trial in April, however, her first time in public in over two years. Despite police efforts to isolate her from the assembled reporters and foreign diplomats, she managed to shout “tell everybody I’m not free! I love you … I miss you” before being taken away.