While they were not timid in their prosecution of Mr. Liu, the authorities made sure that coverage of his trial stayed out of the state-run news media.
Even as it questioned hundreds of people who signed Charter 08, the manifesto Mr. Liu helped to draft, government censors had any mention of the document quickly scrubbed from the Internet after it became public a year ago. There was one exception, however. On Friday, the English-language edition of Xinhua, the official news agency, published a brief item about Mr. Liu’s sentencing. The article said the court “had strictly followed the legal procedures in this case and fully protected Liu’s litigation rights.” The Chinese-language version of Xinhua, however, made no mention of the verdict. Instead, it declared 2009 the “year of citizens’ rights.”