Chinese activist ‘Super Vulgar Butcher’ faces subversion trial
Charge linked to his protest over forced confessions in murder and rape case, says lawyer
Wu Gan, a Chinese dissident blogger known as “Super Vulgar Butcher”, will stand trial for subversion of state power after taking part in a protest over forced confessions in 2015, according to his lawyer.
After more than a year in detention, Wu would face trial in Tianjin, his lawyer Ge Yongxi said in an online statement on Tuesday.
“Around 1.30pm as I arrived at Tianjin’s No 2 detention centre, I was told that the case has been accepted by the court and I was not able to meet [Wu] until my identity as a defence lawyer was confirmed by the court,” Ge said.
Ge said he had filed a suit against the detention centre for denying him access to his client, saying he had previously submitted all the required documents to the Tianjin No 2 Intermediate People’s Court.
Wu was initially detained for 10 days after he and four lawyers protested in Nanchang in Jiangxi province in May 2015 over a rape and murder case. They claimed four innocent people were tortured into making confessions.
Wu was formally arrested in August 2016 for alleged subversion of state power and “picking quarrels”, but Tianjin prosecutors twice sent the case back for further police investigation.
Wu was denied access to a lawyer until December last year when he told his other defence attorney Yan Xin that he had been tortured, including being forced to spend long stints in solitary confinement. Police had also threatened him and his family in a bid to force him to confess, he said.
Wu also released a statement last month saying he would never commit suicide, never accept any government appointed lawyer, never plead guilty and never confess on state media.
Before he was detained, Wu had 60,900 followers on social media.
Wu made his name in 2009 when he met Deng Yujiao, a pedicurist who was arrested for murder for stabbing to death a government official in Hubei province who was trying to molest her. The outrage generated online turned her case into a national cause celebre.