BEIJING – Chinese human rights activist and blogger Wu Gan, known for using irony and humor in his campaigns, was sentenced on Tuesday to eight years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power,” according to the court in the northern city of Tianjin where the sentence was pronounced.
The sentence in the trial which began on Aug. 14 at People’s Court Number Two also condemned Wu to five years of deprivation of political rights.
On Tuesday, the police banned journalists’ entry into the area as was also the case at the beginning of the trial.
Wu, 45, known by his online name “Super Vulgar Butcher,” was accused of “spreading false information on the Internet, exaggerating controversial cases and attacking the regime,” according to official Chinese media.
The activist was arrested in May 2015 while protesting in the southeastern city of Nanchang, denouncing the alleged torture of four innocent people forced into confessing to a crime and who were declared innocent a year later.
In August 2016, he was arrested again and said he had been tortured, while his family was threatened so that he confessed to committing certain crimes.
Wu shot to fame in 2009 when he publicly condemned the case of Deng Yujiao, a young Chinese woman who killed a local politician from Hebei province when the latter attempted to sexually molest her.
The case received widespread media attention and generated great public sympathy for the woman, even inspiring part of the film “A Touch of Sin” by director Jia Zhangke, which won the best screenplay award at the 2013 Cannes Festival.
Wu also worked in the law firm Fengrui, one of the main victims of the communist regime’s campaign since 2015 against lawyers defending human rights cases.
One of the firm’s lawyers, the renowned Wang Yu, defended Wu after he was first arrested, but she herself was arrested later, as part of authorities’ campaign against these professionals.
The “Super Vulgar Butcher,” formerly a soldier and security guard, began his activism a decade ago.
The crime of subversion against the State power is frequently attributed to dissidents and prisoners of conscience. Writer and Nobel Peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo, who died in July, was handed an 11-year prison sentence on similar charges.