China: Chinese activist jailed for 8 years after major crackdown
December 27, 2017, 6:31 am

China sentenced an activist known by the online pseudonym “Super Vulgar Butcher” to eight years in prison on Tuesday, one of the harshest punishments meted out to the group of lawyers and activists swept up in a major crackdown on civil society two years ago. The punishment handed to Wu Gan, who refused to plead guilty to charges of “subverting state power,” was intended as an unmistakable signal to anyone who would dare to challenge the state’s authority, his lawyer told Agence France-Presse. Wu was taken into custody in May 2015 just weeks before authorities unleashed a ruthless campaign later dubbed the “709” crackdown, rounding up over 200 people involved in activities considered sensitive by the ruling Communist Party. The outspoken social media figure had attracted authorities’ attention with performance art and caustic commentary on Chinese society and politics that he published online.