Liu Xiaobo, one of the Chinese government’s top critics, went on trial today in Beijing, for, unsurprisingly, criticizing the government. Charged with “inciting subversion of state power,” Liu pleaded not guilty, but the trial lasted just two hours, the Times reports. The verdict, and sentence, are scheduled to be handed down on Christmas Day, with Liu facing up to 15 years in prison.
Liu was arrested last year after circulating a petition calling for political reform in China—a petition that, ironically, called for subversion to be removed from China’s criminal code. Authorities have visited the petition’s 300 signatories, and warned them not to voice support for Liu. US and EU diplomats have decried the trial as politically motivated, but China called that criticism “unacceptable,” and barred them from the trial.