Liu Xiabo Sentenced

Chinese authorities have sentenced without trial a pro-democracy activist, Liu Xiaobo, to three years in a labor camp after he called on the Communist Party to honor promises to allow freedom of speech and assembly and the right to form political parties.

Liu's wife, Liu Xia, reported her husband's arrest after the couple's Beijing apartment was searched Tuesday and Liu was led away by Public Security policemen. She told Reuters that she was notified of the sentencing early Wednesday.

"I feel he hasn't done anything," she told the news agency. "Citizens have freedom of speech to write articles and say things."

Liu and another dissident, Wang Xizhe of Guangzhou, drafted a protest letter last month that carried harsh criticism of President Jiang Zemin, including an assertion that he should be impeached for asserting that China's military forces are under the authority of the Communist Party, as opposed to the state.

Wang Xizhe, also a veteran democracy campaigner, could not be located Wednesday and it was feared that he too had been sent to a labor camp.

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