State using systematic frame-ups and ‘carrot and stick’ methods to extract confessions
Adam N. Lee, chinaworker.info
On 26 December, the blogger Wu Gan, known by his online nickname Super Vulgar Butcher, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in Tianjin. This was the harshest sentence to be passed so far in a state crackdown on activism that began more than two years ago. It is common for China to hold trials of high profile dissidents during the Christmas period, to minimise international media coverage.
Wu was arrested in May 2015, two months before a major crackdown was launched against a group of around 250 lawyers and activists. Known as the ‘709 incident’, these mass arrests marked an escalation of state repression under ‘strongman’ ruler Xi Jinping which has since further intensified. China is currently experiencing its most severe repression since the post-1989 crackdown.