Police Official in China’s Hunan Province on Trial for Corruption
Police Official in China’s Hunan Province on Trial for Corruption
Deng Guangtan, accused of resisting investigation, was once decorated for persecution of Falun Gong

A municipal police official in south-central China has been expelled from his posts, and is awaiting trial on charges of corruption, according to a statement published by local Communist Party disciplinary authorities.

The local disciplinary commission’s public statement, dated June 27, accuses Deng Guangtan, vice chief of public security in Chenzhou City of China’s Hunan Province, of bribery and taking bribes, violating party discipline, and inappropriate conduct. Deng was also charged of resisting Party investigation.

Human rights investigators have named Deng as a participant in the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice in the areas under his jurisdiction.

Deng, now 54, was a member of the Chenzhou Political Consultative Conference, a Communist Party political advisory organ. The statement announced his expulsion from both the Party and the Conference in addition to his other capacities.

The announcement came around two months after the authorities brought an investigation on him in April.

“Deng failed to exercise self-restraint and correct his mistakes after the 18th Congress of the Communist Party,” the announcement reads, “bringing severe damage to the Party’s undertaking and image.”

The Chinese regime’s Xi Jinping administration, which came to power in 2012, has overseen a widespread anti-corruption campaign that has investigated or disciplined around 1 million Party officials.

Deng is one of many Party officials associated with the policies of former Party leader Jiang Zemin—prominently the persecution of Falun Gong, a traditional spiritual practice that was banned in 1999 and remains the communist regime’s worst ongoing case of human rights abuse.

Over the course of his career, Deng was promoted from county level position to municipal level, with a number of titles including Party committee member of the public security bureau, Party committee secretary of the traffic police, and his membership in the Political Consultative Conference.

In 2003, Deng Guangtan personally led police to arrest over a dozen Falun Gong adherents. The same year, Deng was bestowed a provincial-level police decoration of the first order for his “successful detective work” and for being an “exemplar in the struggle against Falun Gong.”

He also received a congratulatory notice from the provincial branch of the 610 Office, a Party commision created by Jiang Zemin to facilitate the persecution of Falun Gong (and later other groups deemed “heretical religions”), according to Minghui.org, a clearinghouse website for first-hand documentation of Falun Gong cases.

One Falun Gong adherent who became a victim of Deng’s action was post office worker Chen Yiyuan, who was fined 17,000 yuan (around $2,500) and handed an eight-year prison sentence at a secret trial. In a fashion reminiscent of communist persecution during the Cultural Revolution, Chen and other Falun Gong practitioners were tied up, had their mouths taped shut, and paraded through the streets wearing placards hanging from their necks.

During interrogation, police kicked Chen and broke his kneecap, according to Minghui. Chen died in 2012 at the age of 67, about a year after being released from custody on account of his deteriorating health.

Deng Guangtan’s crimes against Falun Gong were not mentioned in the disciplinary commission’s announcement or reported in mainland Chinese media.

UpdateThe Chinese Supreme Procuratorate announced June 28 that Tang Guodong, former vice director of Hunan’s provincial level anti-drug police, was placed under investigation by the Hunan disciplinary committee on June 23.

Tang, who was arrested on April 1, is suspected of protecting drug dealers. Like Deng Guangtan, overseas human rights organizations have identified him as a participant in the persecution of Falun Gong.

Hundreds of Chenzhou villagers celebrated with fireworks and banners after his downfall, the state-run Chongqing Morning Post reported.

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