Taiwanese activist pleads guilty to state subversion in China

Taiwanese activist pleads guilty to state subversion in China”

Lee Ming-Che is standing trial accused of subversion of state power, the first prosecution of a non-profit worker on criminal charges since Beijing passed a law tightening controls over foreign non-governmental organizations.

Before he was detained in China, Lee Ming-che was working at a community college in Taipei. China's authorities later confirmed that he was being investigated on suspicion of damaging national security.

Reporters film a screen showing a video footage of detained Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-Che testifying at his trial a the Yueyang Intermediate People's Court in Yueyang, south China's Hunan province, Monday.

"I spread some attacks, theories that maliciously attacked and defamed China's government, the Chinese Communist Party and China's current political system, and I incited the subversion of state power", Lee said, referring to comments written in an instant messaging group.

Lee and Peng said their rights had been fully protected during the investigation, and they both pleaded guilty and expressed remorse.

"Pursuing democracy and freedom is not a crime", Hsiao continued. "Mr".

Lee Ching-yu departed from Taipei International Airport (Songshan Airport) with a lawyer, Straits Exchange Foundation officials and two representatives from a civic group that have called on China to free Lee Ming-che's release. "I'm traveling there not to challenge or to argue, but to go to witness the arrival of justice that will let Lee Ming-che return to Taiwan with dignity, and promptly and peacefully", Lee said.

She wrote a letter to her husband on Monday morning before the trial began, photographs of which were seen by Reuters.

The activist also said in court that the Taiwanese media coverage of China had led to his misconceptions of China's developments, and during his detainment, the information he received through local television news was different from what he obtained in Taiwan.

Chinese courts have video-streamed or live-blogged increasing numbers of proceedings in recent years as part of a push towards judicial transparency.

But rights activists say that in sensitive cases holding "open" trials allows authorities to demonstrate state power and deter others, with statements and verdicts usually agreed in advance.

Relations between Taiwan and China have been near an all-time low since the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has advocated Taiwan's formal independence. "We think this is a basic human right".

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