On September 26, 2018, the Hubei Provincial High People’s Court upheld a lower court’s ruling on veteran rights activist Qin Yongmin’s case: conviction of subversion of state power, a 13-year prison term, and three years of post-release deprivation of political rights.
Qin was detained on March 30, 2015, and formally arrested on May 7 that year. His indictment states that he “wrote a large number of incendiary articles that put forth the goals of ‘reconciliation of the entire population, supremacy of human rights, benign interactions, peaceful transformation,’ thus setting the goals of and guidelines, strategy, and methods for subversion of state power. In addition, he organized, planned, and carried out a series of activities aimed at subversion of state power.”
Qin appealed chiefly on three grounds: procedural, factual/evidentiary, and definitional. On the procedural and definitional aspects, Qin’s lawyers argued in the appeal that the first instance court, the Wuhan Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, had committed procedural errors in its failure to present sufficient reasons for conducting a closed trial, and that Qin’s advocacy for “peaceful transformation” was an exercise of the right to freedom of expression, and, because it did not involve violence, could not constitute acts of subversion of state power.
Qin Yongmin, 64, is one of the founders of the China Democracy Party and the founder of China Human Rights Watch. Previously, he had already served prison terms totaling more than 23 years. With this sentence, he will become one of the longest-serving political prisoners in China.
See full text of verdict here.