On November 13, 2013, the Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People's Court upheld the “embezzlement” conviction of police officer Wang Dengchao (王登朝) and overturned the “obstructing official business” conviction, which had carried a one-year prison term. On the embezzlement conviction, the court reduced Wang’s sentence to 11 years, from the original 13-and-a-half years. The court also reduced the embezzlement amount to 80,000 yuan, from 2.83 million yuan in the original conviction.
Both of Wang’s appeals lawyers, Li Jinglin (李静林) and Liu Xiaoyan (刘晓原), believe that Wang’s prosecution was a reprisal from the authorities because of his rights defense activities. “This is a case of turning a political matter into a financial matter,” said Liu.
In a statement made public today on Sina Weibo, Wang said the following:
The corrupt elements with privileges fear us. They fear those who have the courage to speak up on behalf of the interests and rights of the people. Therefore, towards these courageous individuals, who work to protect citizens’ interests and rights, they usually resort to these tactics: defamation, slander, and framing—until they annihilate you.
When he was detained on March 8, 2012, Wang was an officer at the Luohu Branch of the Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau and a manager at the seventh bureau of the Shenzhen Security Service Company, a business controlled by the Public Security Bureau. He was convicted of over-reporting the expenses incurred in security services that his company was contracted to provide, and pocketing 2.83 million yuan. Wang was originally sentenced by Luohu District People’s Court of Shenzhen on November 26, 2012.
Before his detention, Wang had been planning a large public gathering at Shenzhen’s Lianhuashan Park to commemorate Sun Yat-sen and to call for democracy, social security, free medical care, and equal pension for all, using his own money and a bank loan to pay for 3,000 t-shirts printed with Sun’s picture and motto, “Justice for All” (天下为公). On a previous occasion, Wang caused a stir when he attempted to organize a union in the Shenzhen Security Service Company.
For more information about Wang Dengchao, see: