DHARAMSALA, July 11: A prominent Chinese pro-democracy activist has been sentenced to 13 years in prison on charges of ‘subversion of state power’.
Qin Yongmin, a leading Chinese democracy campaigner was pronounced guilty by the Wuhan City Intermediate People’s Court, in central China according to various media reports.
The activist was sentenced to 13 years in prison for ‘subversion of state power’ read the court verdict on its official website. His sentence appears to be the heftiest sentence handed down in China for “subversion” in the past 15 years, noted a report on scmp.com
Frances Eve, a researcher at the NGO Chinese Human Rights Defenders, has said that the activist had been prosecuted for his belief in a democratic China as well as his actions in advocating for human rights, reports bbc.com.
Authorities were unable to build a case against him despite three years of investigation, the said in the report.
At the time of his arrest in January 2015, Qin was head of the pro-democracy “China Human Rights Watch” group, which circulated online statements denouncing government policies, as well as organised discussion groups, the report added.
The Chinese pro-democracy activist has “refused to cooperate with the court” and stayed silent throughout his trial, AFP news agency reported citing human rights lawyer Lin Qilei.
The 64- year old activist has already spent a total of 22 years behind bars in China. He was first jailed as a “counter-revolutionary” from 1981-1989.