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In South Korea, Shincheonji sect chief arrested for obstructing coronavirus combat

His sect is on the middle of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in South Korea in February. The chief of the Shincheonji ("new world") Church of Jesus, Lee Man-hee, was arrested on Saturday 1er August on suspicion of obstructing authorities coverage to curb the unfold of the epidemic.

Mr Lee, 88, was taken into custody early on Saturday "After the Suwon District Courtroom issued an arrest warrant at 1:20 a.m."a spokesperson for the native courtroom stated. The cult chief is accused of giving the well being authorities inaccurate information of his church gatherings, and false lists of its members. He’s suspected of "Systematic makes an attempt to destroy proof", in keeping with a judicial official quoted by the Yonhap information company.

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Folks linked to the motion, recognized for its mass rallies of uniformed followers, accounted for greater than half of the greater than 4,000 instances of Covid-19 in South Korea in February, when the nation was one of many first to endure the epidemic on the earth. As of July 19, they represented 38% of individuals contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, in keeping with well being authorities.

Fees of embezzlement

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus stated its members risked social stigma and discrimination in the event that they got here throughout as such, discouraging some from responding to official requests. The motion, which operates nearly militarily, claims a tradition of secrecy for "To guard its members from persecution", says his spokesperson, Kim Shin-chang. This explains the difficulties of the authorities in controlling them.

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In an announcement launched on Saturday, the spiritual group confused that this arrest "Doesn’t represent a responsible verdict". Mr. Lee, the textual content continues, was solely involved about "Extreme calls for" authorities regarding private information, and "By no means ordered" his subordinates to withhold info.

Mr. Lee can be accused of embezzling 5.6 billion gained (3.9 million euros) of cult funds and staging spiritual occasions at public services with out approval.

South Korea is usually cited as a mannequin within the administration of the well being disaster, with its program “screening, testing and remedy”. Thirty-one new instances have been recorded on Saturday, bringing the whole to 14,336 within the nation of 52 million individuals.

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