China: dogs named ‘City Officer’ and ‘Traffic Warden’. Owner imprisoned.

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Chengguan line

This is the ‘other world’ – a place where if you deign to mildly but publicly criticise the authorities even in jest, you risk being banged up. This is what happened to Mr Ban in Yingzhou district in the city of Fuyang.

Chinese enforcement officers, better known as Chengguan, arrest protesters as they demolish buildings for the city’s urban planning in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province on July 8, 2011. China’s government recognizes the problems with the Chengguan, especially their frequent clashes with street peddlers. Officials have tried easing limits on peddlers to give the chengguan less to hassle them about, and to encourage better behavior by the chengguan. AFP CHINA XTRA

He called his dogs ‘City Officer’ and ‘Traffic Warden’ because he considered them lazy. The city officers (the police) have a reputation for being bullies, helping in home demolitions and killing pets. A survey found that they have the worst public image in China. They are called ‘chengguan’.

They did not like the dogs’ names, perhaps because they touched a nerve. They felt insulted and jailed Mr Ban for ten days. He was accused of writing “insulting information on law enforcement officers” on popular platform WeChat.

Mr Ban had insulted the police on social media.

“This is insulting to dogs. Dogs are such good companions, why would you give them such names”

Social media commenter

It seems that many agreed with Mr Ban.

It is definitely wrong to insult a profession, but if a dog were named after another profession, would that be punished in the same way?”

Another commenter

The above comment sums it up. The police are clearly abusing their power. In arresting and imprisoning Mr Ban they have reinforced their appalling reputation as shady individuals who can’t be trusted and who bully China’s citizens.

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