Blowing the whistle on police costs officer his job

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 April, 2007, 12:00am

In a country where speaking one's mind can cost one's personal freedom, former policeman Wu Youming considers himself lucky that his internet postings detailing inside information on the police have cost him only his job.

Mr Wu, 33, was sacked by the Xisai police station in Hebei province's Huangshi city on March 16 for illegally conducting a 'business operation' by publishing an unapproved literary magazine, available for 10 yuan at small bookstores in Beijing, Guangzhou and Lanzhou .

But the ex-policeman said he believed the real reason he was fired was because of the articles he had posted on the internet since 2005.

'I started running the magazine in 2000, and it had been widely reported by the media. So why did they take action only this year?' Mr Wu asked.

The city's publication authority shut down the biannual magazine, Shui Mo, or 'Water Foam', last year and fined Mr Wu 20,000 yuan.

Having been in police force for 12 years, Mr Wu said the price for speaking the truth had not been that large.

'There are 1.8 million police officers in China. I just feel that someone has to speak out ... It's good that I have not been jailed, because what I've said is something that can't be addressed by the current system,' he said.

In his most recent article, Mr Wu called on the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to stop local governments from prohibiting petitioners going to Beijing.

He also detailed how he and colleagues intercepted Huangshi petitioners hoping to make their case in the capital over the years.

In early 2006, Mr Wu gained national fame for posting an article on a quota system that required traffic police to generate a fixed amount of money from fines every month. He wrote the article after 803 yuan was deducted from his salary for not meeting the quota.

In another posting he raised the issue of the drawbacks of the household registration system.

With a passion for literature since childhood, Mr Wu said he would now earn his living from writing.

'I never wanted to be a police officer,' he said. 'But the experience has been unique. If there were a chance, I would go back. I think someone in the force had to speak out.'



Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

For unlimited access to: SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive