The sentencing of Liu Xiaobo comes despite international appeals for his release. Rights groups said the harshness of the sentence was a warning to others who challenge China's one-party rule.
Liu was the co-author of an unusually direct appeal for political liberalization in China called Charter 08. He was detained just before it was released last December. More than 300 people, including some of China's top intellectuals, signed it.
The verdict was issued at the No. 1 Intermediate People's Court in Beijing after a two-hour trial Wednesday in which prosecutors accused Liu of "serious" crimes. Leading .