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Veteran Dissident Liu Xianbin Placed in Criminal Detention Again

June 29, 2010

Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌), a Sichuan-based democracy activist, writer, and one of the first signers of Charter 08, was taken away on June 28, 2010, by the Suining State Security Police (四川遂宁国保), while he was meeting with Chen Wei (陈卫), another democracy activist, at a local teahouse.

At 7:00 pm that evening, he was criminally detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪). While Liu was being questioned, 14 policemen searched Liu's home and confiscated two hard drives, two USBs, books, bank books, and printed materials. Liu is currently detained at Suining Detention Center.
According to informed sources, Liu’s wife, Chen Mingxian (陈明先), was also questioned on June 29 by the Suining Security Police. The police also went to their 13-year-old daughter’s school and questioned the child.

Liu was detained in April 1991 by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and sentenced in 1992 by the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court to two-and-a-half years of imprisonment and one year of deprivation of political rights on the charge of “counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement” (反革命宣传煽动罪), for his participation in the 1989 Democracy Movement. He was released in October 1993. He continued his democracy activities, including creating the magazine Citizen’s Forum (公民论坛) to disseminate democracy articles and information. He also tried to register an independent Chinese Democracy Party (中国民主党四川筹备委员会) and organized the Sichuan branch of the group China Human Rights Watch (中国人权观察四川分部).

Liu was detained again on July 7, 1999, and on August 7, 1999, Liu was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment and three years of deprivation of political rights for “subversion of state power” (颠覆国家政权罪). After his sentence was reduced by three years and eight months, he was released on November 6, 2008.

After his release in 2008, he continued to actively participate in rights defense activities, including signing Charter 08, publishing articles, participating in the Beijing April 2010 discussions of the Fuzhou netizens’ case, and successfully appealing for the release of Chen Yunfei (陈云飞), another Sichuan-based activist.


For more information on Charter 08 and freedom of expression, see: