Defaming martyrs, attacking police to be punished by new amendments to Criminal Law
Published: Feb 28, 2021 01:35 PM

Criminal Law Photo: IC

China's top judicial authorities have added 22 clauses, including defaming martyrs, attacking police and disturbing the operation of public transportation, to the Criminal Law in a supplementary regulation that comes into effect on Monday. 

The regulation was jointly published by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Saturday. The newly added crimes also include illegal gene editing and cloning, hunting and selling terrestrial wildlife, producing and selling counterfeit drugs and throwing objects from high buildings. 

Many of the new clauses triggered heated public discussion and debate on social media. 

According to the supplementary articles of the Criminal Law, those who insult, slander or otherwise infringe upon the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years or criminal detention if the circumstances are serious.

The addition of this clause came after seven people were detained last week for defaming the Chinese martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the Galwan Valley border clash with India in June 2020.

Other parts of the amendment relate to violent assaults on police, specifying that those who attack police who are carryingtheir duties will be punished by up to three years of imprisonment. 

The amendment came amid a surge in attacks on the police in China. On January 22, a man in Hong Kong was sentenced to nine months in prison for attempting to throw bricks at a police officer during an illegal gathering in Tsim Sha Tsui in 2019.

The inclusion of the act of disrupting public transportation in the regulation also came in response to calls from the public after a fatal bus plunge in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality in 2018, in which a passenger attacked the bus driver with her fists and caused the driver's hand to leave the steering wheel, killing 13 people and leaving two others still missing.  

The new regulation stipulates that those who use violence against a driver of a moving public transport vehicle, or take control of his driving control device, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than one year or criminal detention, or shall be fined.

The public also paid close attention to clauses that decreased the minimum age for facing criminal charges from 14 to 12. Implanting gene-edited or cloned human embryos into humans or animals, or implanting animal embryos of those categories into human bodies, are illegal acts that can result in up to seven years in prison. 

Global Times