Unconditional support for Wang is imprudent

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-9-14 1:08:01

Well-known venture capitalist and billionaire investor Wang Gongquan was detained by police in Beijing Friday. He was reportedly summoned for questioning at noon, and formally detained in the evening.

According to the law, a summons must end within 24 hours, but can turn into detention depending on the case. Police must notify family of the detention, but can choose to publicize it or not based on the situation.

By Friday night, the Beijing police had not notified media about the incident. They may respond later given the widespread circulation of the news online.

Since Friday afternoon, some liberals have begun to voice support for Wang, and asserted that he is completely innocent and being "politically persecuted" for his outspoken comments online.

Several liberals have started to collect signatures on Weibo and completely politicized the incident. They claimed that China is at "the most dangerous moment," and warned that police authorities "should not irritate the public."

We believe such an unconditional endorsement based on value judgment is not appropriate.

Wang is already in the judicial process. Any assistance for him should be conducted through legal means. It is not serious to announce his "innocence" and condemn the police who took him away as "barbaric" when the situation remains unclear.

It is certain that the police collected some evidence before detaining Wang, who also has the right to question and refute the evidence.

Currently some liberals are seeking to build a public opinion atmosphere where anyone in their camp being sent to court is a victim of "political persecution." Even the prostitution scandal of Chinese-American investor Charles Xue has been seen by them as an "official crackdown on freedom of speech."

By doing so they are actually claiming that they are not subject to law in China, and that they can only be judged by public opinion, especially that on Weibo. While seeking to build up such a privilege, some of them may lose respect for the law in real life.

It has been circulated online that Wang was detained for "disturbing public order." Whether Wang will be convicted depends on further judicial procedures. At this point, we cannot say if he is guilty or not.

In other countries, especially third world ones, there are often opposition voices outside court when a public figure is detained. But it is also a worldwide consensus that such opposition should not influence the judicial process.

We hope Wang's case will turn out to be an example of strict law enforcement despite the complex public opinion environment.

Posted in: Editorial

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