Chinese dissident goes on trial

Liu Xiaobo faces charges of "inciting subversion to state power"

The trial of prominent Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has begun in Beijing.

Liu, a government critic and veteran of the 1989 democracy protests at Tiananmen Square, faces charges of "inciting subversion of state power".
If convicted, he could face 15 years in jail. Dissidents in China are rarely found not guilty.

Liu, a writer and former university professor, was imprisoned in 2008 after co-writing a document called Charter 08 which called for political reform and greater freedom in China. He had previously spent many years under house arrest or close surveillance.

The EU, US, and human rights groups have called for his release. China says that criticism of the trial is an "unacceptable" attempt to interfere in its internal affairs.

Western diplomats who planned to observe the trial were told outside the court that there was no space for them. His wife told reporters that she, too, was banned from the court.