01/03/2013, 00.00
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Shenzhen: police officer gets 14 years in prison for his pro-democracy activity

After eight months in jail without trial, Wang Dengchao, a police officer in favour of democratic reforms in China gets a harsh sentence after being convicted by a court in Luohu. Afraid that the military might join the people in the fight for freedom, the Communist party is using an iron fist against any form of unrest.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Opposition to China's Communist regime is now developing within its security forces. The latter have the task of maintaining the existing system by any means, violence included. For example, a court in Luohu recently sentenced a Shenzhen policeman to 14 years in prison after convicting him for "embezzlement" and "disrupting official business". In reality, the officer, Wang Dengchao, wanted to take part in a rally for democratic reforms.

Arrested in March 2012, the 38-year-old Wang had been involved with pro-democracy groups and websites. Two days after he was taken into custody, he was set to take part in a rally in a Shenzhen park. Instead, he was held for eight months without trial and convicted on 26 November on trumped-up charges.

A university graduate, Wang had been involved in pro-democracy activity for some time. His arrest and harsh sentence confirm two important facts. First, even within the security forces people are disinclined to go along uncritically with the government's repression. Second, the regime's rulers are showing signs of fear so much so that they are willing to squash rapidly and violently any sign of disaffection within the police and the military.

Both outgoing President Hu Jintao and his successor Xi Jinping, who in March will be president, party general secretary and chairman of the military commission, have used the strongest terms to describe the security forces as the "only barrier against the forces that want to destroy China".



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