A high-profile Chinese dissident accused of subversion was tried at a two-hour hearing Wednesday that shut out foreign diplomats concerned over a case that reflects the communist government’s deep suspicion of calls for political reform.

Liu Xiaobo was detained a year ago, just before the release of an unusually direct appeal for more civil rights in China he co-authored called Charter 08, signed by scores of China’s top intellectuals. He faces up to 15 years in jail. The verdict is due Friday.