Taiwanese dissident Hsu Hsin-liang was sentenced to over 10 years in prison last Saturday for plotting to overthrow the government. The presiding judge said Mr. Hsu, a former county magistrate and opposition politician, had unceasingly demanded independence and political revolution for Taiwan. (Independence is anathema to the Nationalist government, which sees itself as the rightful ruler of China).
``This goes beyond a simple question of freedom of speech,'' the judge said.
United States' human rights groups have monitored the case because the court used evidence about Hsu's activities while he was in exile for 10 years in the US. He was captured trying to sneak back into Taiwan on a fishing boat.
Prosecutors said Hsu, who published the Formosa Times Weekly in the US, used the magazine to promote ``urban guerilla units'' in Taiwan.