A prominent Chinese political campaigner was sentenced to 13 years in jail on Wednesday, a court in central China said.
Qin Yongmin was found “guilty of subversion of state power”, the Wuhan City Intermediate People’s Court said on its official website.
According to court records, it appears to be the biggest sentence handed down in China for “subversion” in the past 15 years.
The 64-year-old, first jailed for "opposing the revolution" between 1981 and 1989, has already spent a total of 22 years behind bars.
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.
Qin had “refused to cooperate with the court” and remained completely silent during his trial in May, lawyer Lin Qilei previously said.
His other lawyer, Liu Zhengqing, said he was in “despair” about the sentencing and “angry at the rogue regime” in China, that threatens world peace.
“[We] will definitely appeal,” he announced.
The verdict comes a day after Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel dissident, Liu Xiaobo, was allowed to leave China for Germany.