South Korean pastor is re-imprisoned for enabling spread of virus

Seoul, Sep 7 (efe-epa).- The controversial leader of the South Korean Sarang Jeil Church, Pastor Jun Kwang-hoon, was again incarcerated Monday at the request of the prosecution after leading demonstrations that caused an increase in coronavirus infections in Seoul.

Jun had been arrested in February for allegedly violating electoral law and later released on bail and on condition that he no longer participate in demonstrations related to his case, pending a judicial resolution.

The prosecution filed new charges against him and again requested his provisional imprisonment for violating the conditions of his bail by having participated in mass demonstrations organized in Seoul in mid-August. These have again been linked to the increase in coronavirus infections in the capital region.

A Seoul court on Monday ordered Jun’s new internment in the Seoul Detention Center, where the controversial 64-year-old pastor has already been transferred, according to local news agency Yonhap.

“If a person is detained for a simple word from the president, this cannot be considered a country. The Republic of Korea has become a totalitarian state,” Jun told the media before entering in prison.

Very critical of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, whom he considers a “North Korean spy” friend of China, Jun has exhibited since the summer of 2019 his ability to convene followers in the massive protests against cases of corruption in the government.

Since February, when the first major outbreak of COVID-19 broke out in South Korea, Jun has also insistently challenged the ban on organizing large demonstrations or religious services without social distancing.

The largest outbreak recorded in South Korea since infections in the country rebounded in summer is linked to the ultra-conservative Presbyterian church headed by Jun, among whose faithful there have been more than 1,000 infections. EFE-EPA


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