defending its handling of the case of Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo, who has been
detained for more than two weeks without being charged. The high-profile case
has already elicited public concern from American and European Union officials.
The latest international call for the immediate release of detained
Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo came from more than 150 scholars, writers and human
The list includes several Nobel prize winning authors:
South African novelist Nadine Gordimer, Irish poet Seamus Heaney and Nigerian
writer Wole Soyinka. Other well-known writers include Salman Rushdie and Umberto
They called for Liu's immediate release, in an open letter sent
Tuesday to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesman Qin Gang was asked repeatedly about the detained dissident at a
regular briefing in Beijing.
China opposes international interference
Qin says, although he is not aware of the details of the
case, that China will handle the case according to law.
On the specific
issue of international expressions of concern being raised for Liu Xiaobo, the
spokesman says China firmly opposes any foreign interference in its internal
Fifty-three year old Liu has been an outspoken advocate for
change. Lately, he has written numerous articles on the Internet, supporting his
calls for reform.
Writer faced constant harassment
been constantly harassed by authorities and detained for his criticisms, but not
yet convicted of a crime.
His latest detention, beginning earlier this
month, came on the eve of the public release of Charter 08, a manifesto calling
for rule of law and greater human rights protection in China.
among more than 300 lawyers, writers, scholars and artists who signed Charter
08, which was released as the world marked International Human Rights day, on
About 30 of the other signatories have been questioned by
police or put under surveillance since the document became public.