China jails Buddhist monk for ‘inciting subversion’

Taipei Times
Date: Apr 18, 2016
By: Loa Iok-sin / Staff reporter

Buddhist Master Shi Shengguan (釋聖觀) was sentenced earlier this month in China to four years in prison

after being detained for nearly two years for “inciting subversion of state power.”

An advocate for democracy and human rights, Shi, along with one of his followers, Huang Jingyi (黃靜怡), was arrested following a Dharma teaching session in Wuhan on May 17, 2014.

Both were charged with inciting subversion of state power, as Shi has often criticized Beijing’s human rights record during his lessons.

On April 8, the Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court found Shi and Huang guilty and sentenced Shi to four years in prison and Huang to two years.

“My Dharma teacher insisted that he is not guilty and that he would not appeal the verdict when it was handed down — and the other person [Huang] also made the same decision,” nun Shi Guoshi (釋果實), a student of Shi Shengguan who visited Taiwan in 2014 in a bid to seek support from her master, told the Taipei Times in an interview via e-mail.

“Four years in prison is too harsh, as I said in the beginning. His arrest and detention were unjust, and for him, even one day in prison would be a wrongful sentence,” she said. “Making an appeal is meaningless for him. The only meaningful thing is for the court to set him free and apologize.”    [FULL  STORY]