In China, protest businessman sentenced to eighteen years in prison

Chinese billionaire Sun Dawu, who regularly criticizes the government, has been sentenced to eighteen years in prison for a series of offenses and embezzlement, the Gaobeidian People’s Court announced on Wednesday (July 28th). located in Hebei province (north of the country). The trial of this 67-year-old media boss, leader of a group specializing in agriculture, was judged by his defenders as emblematic of the way in which the Communist government perceives the powerful tycoons of the private sector.

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According to a statement from the court where he was tried, Sun Dawu was sentenced to eighteen years in prison and fined 3.11 million yuan (405,000 euros).

This heavy sentence is justified by a long list of convictions for “Illegal mining”, “Illegal occupation of agricultural land”, “Obstruction of the public service”, “Gathering of a crowd with a view to attacking state organs” or “Provocation to unrest”. This last accusation, with a vague title, is often used against opponents.

Straight talk

The food mogul, family members and employees were arrested in late 2020 following a land dispute with a Hebei state farm.

Sun Dawu had founded the Dawu Group in 1984 as a family business raising chickens and pigs. He has since transformed it into a huge empire covering health and tourism as well. It is one of the leading companies in the agricultural sector in northern China.

Known for his outspokenness, Sun Dawu had notably vehemently criticized the authorities for their management of the Covid-19 pandemic and the African swine fever epidemic in the country, at the origin of the slaughter of millions of heads.

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The World with AFP