Taiwanese activist pleads guilty to state subversion in China (update)

2017/09/11 18:01:08 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Lee Ming-che

Lee Ming-che

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who has been held by the Chinese authorities since March on charges of "subversion of state power," pleaded guilty during a brief court appearance in China's Hunan Province Monday.

Lee was remanded back into detention after the hearing.

Sentencing on the case will be issued on a yet-to-be-decided date, a judge at the Yueyang City Intermediate People's Court announced.

According to a video published by the court on its Weibo microblogging site, Lee admitted to "attempting to subvert state power" in cooperation with Peng Yuhua (彭宇華), a Chinese citizen who has created several discussion groups critical of the government.

Lee said he got to know Peng via the instant-messaging app Weixin, after which Peng added him to a chat group called "China Onlooker" on Tencent QQ, a Chinese social media website, where they began to circulate articles that attacked the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist system.

Lee also admitted to disseminating articles and videos related to the Tiananmen Massacre, the color revolutions in Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, via Weixin, QQ and Facebook.

He said Peng had asked him and several group managers to write essays to maliciously attack the Chinese government and promote the multi-party system of the Western world.

He also confessed to helping Peng establish a company aimed at toppling the Chinese government.

He said when serving as a manager of the south-China subgroup of "China Onlooker," he played up civil rights protection incidents in China to attack and smear the Chinese Communist system and the Chinese government.

Lee said he attended meetings in Guangdong, Guangxi and Fujian in southern China and used those opportunities to attack the Chinese government.

Lee said his conduct has violated Article 105 of China's Criminal Law and he expressed his appreciation to the Chinese government for its "civilized" way of handling the case and for protecting his personal safety.

According to media reports, several Chinese civil right activists had planned to go to the court to voice their support for Lee but were prevented from doing so by the Chinese police.

Meanwhile, more than 20 pro-democracy activists staged a demonstration outside the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to demand the release of Lee and other civil right activists who have been detained or convicted by Beijing on charges of inciting subversion of state power.

Lee went missing after entering China via Macao on March 19 and was later confirmed to have been detained by the Chinese authorities.

The Chinese government indicated in May that he had been arrested.

With Beijing's permission, Lee's mother and wife arrived in Hunan Sunday to attend his hearing.

(By Yang Sheng-ju, Frances Huang, Stanley Cheung and Y.F. Low)
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