A Chinese blogger has reportedly become the first person to be charged under a newly amended law outlawing the defamation of China’s heroes and martyrs.
The blogger named Qiu Ziming, 38 was formally arrested by police in Nanjing, capital of China’s coastal province of Jiangsu, on Monday, 1st March as it announced charges against him. The amended 2018 act came into effect the same day after China’s top judicial authorities added the new clause in it. “According to the supplementary articles, Qiu’s infringement of the reputation and honour of heroes shall be punished with a fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years or criminal detention if the circumstances are serious,” the state media reported.
Qiu was detained by police on February 20 after he made two posts reportedly giving differing views than the official narrative on Galwan valley casualties. His posts were considered illegal on account of harming the reputation and honour of heroes and martyrs.
The Chinese government on Monday telecast a video of Qiu apologizing for slandering PLA soldiers, involved in the deadly brawl against the Indian army at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh last June, on state-TV. In the one-minute long video played during a prime time news programme, his face was blurred out and he was seen sitting behind bars in prison clothes.
Weibo, a Twitter like Chinese microblogging platform announced it had suspended Qiu’s account, which had 2.5 million followers, for one year. Chinese govt arrested or detained seven, including Qiu, for insulting PLA heroes and martyrs.