Wang Dengchao (王登朝), a police officer at Luohu Sub-bureau of Shenzhen Public Security Bureau (police ID 054985), was arrested on March 8, 2012 on charges of embezzlement and disruption of public services. After being detained for 8 months, he was tried and sentenced to 14 years in prison on December 4th, 2012.
But he is believed to be arrested and harshly sentenced for attempting to organize a large-scale assembly to commemorate the 87th anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s death, to be held in Lianhua Hill Park in Shenzhen on March 10th, 2012. Friends and family said Wang Dengchao had taken out a 500,000 loan from bank for the event. He made T-shirts and banners, and hired people to distribute flies and other promotional materials. He also asked friends to give speeches during the assembly. He had foreseen the possibility of being arrested, but he believed that if the event was held as planned, it would be worth it.
Turning People’s Republic of China back to the Republic of China (民国), or the pre-1949 era, has been a strain in China’s democratic thinking and activism.
Charges against Wang Dengchao have to do his involvement in the security of Universiade (World University Games) held in Shenzhen in 2011. At the time he was the manager of the 7th Company of Shenzhen Security Service Company (深圳保安公司).
During the first trial Wang Dengchao’s lawyers argued that the prosecutors’ charges were unfounded, and there were no evidence to prove Wang Dengchao was guilty of either charge.
Wang Dengchao’s case has not received enough media attention so far, partially because charges against him were non-political. But the Chinese government seems to be using a new strategy lately to punish dissidents without making them “political prisoners” by trumping up other charges against them. Li Bifeng’s case is one of the latest examples.
According to friends, Wang Dengchao is 38 years old and a graduate of Northwest University of Politics and Law (西北政法大学). Friends said he often expressed disapproval of China’s political system and how it was the root of China’s social ills. He had made and distributed fliers and brochures before to promote democratic ideas.
His friends said that, as a mid-level police officer, Wang lived a comfortable life, but, unlike most of his colleagues who used their power for personal gains, Wang was a conscionable man who wanted to take actions to advocate for change of system.
Originally, the second trial was scheduled on February 1, but defense lawyers had not been informed of the trial date at least three days prior to the trial according to the law. The trial is now rescheduled for February 7 following protests by the defense lawyers.
Meanwhile, local activists were summoned and interrogated by police. The guesthouse where Wang Dengchao’s lawyers stayed was “inspected” and their visitors were questioned. Faraway in Guangxi, Wang Dengchao’s mother-in-law was warned not to communicate with others about Wang’s case.
The second trial will be held at 10am, February 7, 2013, in criminal trial area of Shenzhen Intermediary People’s Court (深圳市中级人民法院), located at深圳市罗湖区红岭中路1036号. Postal code 518008 and telephone 0755—83535000.
The defense lawyers can be reached at: 李静林律师 13693283418, 唐吉田律师 13161302848. Wang Dengchao’s wife can be reached at 18898738510.