BEIJING, June 24 (UPI) -- Chinese officials formally arrested dissident Liu Xiaobo after detaining him in a secret location near Beijing for more than six months, officials said.
State media reported Liu was "engaged in agitation activities, such as spreading of rumors and defaming of the government, aimed at subversion of the state and overthrowing the socialism system in recent years," The Times of London reported Wednesday.
Beijing Public Security Bureau made the arrest Wednesday. Liu has been under "residential surveillance" since he taken from his Beijing home Dec. 8, the day before publication of a document he co-wrote calling for democracy in China.
The government agency said Liu, 53, confessed to the charges, the British newspaper said.
Liu was an outspoken literary critic in the 1980s but gained international attention for his role during the student-led demonstrations in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989 in which hundreds of protesters died at several locations in the city.
He was held in Beijing's Qincheng prison and was sentenced to re-education at a labor camp for his involvement in the demonstrations and repeated calls on the Chinese government reconsider its verdict that the demonstrations were "counterrevolutionary."
Liu's case has drawn intense international criticism, with the European Union and the United States demanding his release. Novelists and Nobel literature laureates also have campaigned for his freedom.