Was a Life Sentence Too Lenient in the Bo Xilai Trial?

Was a Life Sentence Too Lenient in the Bo Xilai Trial?

After the Bo Xilai trial and sentencing, Bo filed an appeal against his life sentence because he believes it is too harsh. So why are people saying that execution four times over wouldn’t be enough for the former Party Secretary of the city of Chongqing.

On Sept. 22 Bo Xilai was found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power. However, many know that the extent of his crimes go far beyond the charges and think his sentence is too lenient. If the authorities considered all of his crimes, his being executed four or five times would still not be enough.

Bo Xilai approved corpse processing plant in Dalian

Dr. Wang Rongfen, a Chinese born biotechnologist who was jailed many years ago for publicly disagreeing with Mao Zedong, said in a Radio Free Asia interview on Sept. 24 that the court had intentionally downplayed the most serious aspects of Bo’s crimes, and instead focused on his minor crimes.

One of Bo’s most heinous crimes wasn’t even considered as part of his sentencing. He was responsible for sanctioning the establishment of the Von Hagen Corpse Plant in Dalian, China.

Gunther von Hagen, who invented the technique for preserving biological tissue specimens called plastination, could not find anywhere else in the world to establish a place to do his work on corpses. In China, he found a place with an ample supply of corpses.


Where did those corpses come from? Why didn’t the Chinese authorities investigate that? All the bodies and body parts included in von Hagen’s plastination exhibits only have basic descriptions. There are no consent forms signed by the individuals or their families, and no information regarding the identity of any individual can be found.

In China, as is the case in most countries, using human bodies without consent is illegal.

Death sentence would be justified according to Chinese law

According to Ding Xueliang, professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Hong Kong University, based on evidence that did not come up during the course of the trial, Bo could be shot four or five times according to Chinese law.

Ding said that during Bo’s “Sing Red” and “Strike Black” campaigns in Chongqing, which mobilized public opinion and abandoned the legal system, thousands of innocent people were jailed unjustly. Some were given heavy sentences, some were shot, some families were separated, and some people went missing. He should be held accountable.

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