CHINA / SOCIETY
UPDATE: Internet celebrity becomes first person to be charged for defaming martyrs since new amendment to Criminal Law
Published: Mar 01, 2021 01:22 PM
Photo: VCG

China's top judicial authorities announced on Sunday that they had added 22 clauses, including those on defaming martyrs, attacking the police and disturbing the operation of public transportation, to the Criminal Law in a supplementary regulation that came into effect on Monday. Photo: VCG



Police in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, on Monday charged an internet celebrity who had been in detention since February 20 for violating the law on defaming martyrs' honor and reputation after he smeared PLA martyrs killed in the Galwan Valley border clash with India.

It is the first reported case of a suspect being charged with violating the law after China's top judicial authorities added the clause on defaming martyrs to the Criminal Law in a supplementary regulation that came into effect on Monday.

Chen Hongjun

Chen Hongjun



Chen Xiangrong

Chen Xiangrong



Xiao Siyuan

Xiao Siyuan



Wang Zhuoran

Wang Zhuoran



On February 19, the internet celebrity, surnamed Qiu and known as Labixiaoqiu online, released false information on China's Twitter-like Social media platform Sina Weibo, smearing the four heroes who died when dealing with the Indian military's illegal trespassing of the Galwan Valley Line of Actual Control.

Qiu was arrested a day later for stirring up trouble that brought about a severe negative social impact, according to a statement issued by the Nanjing Public Security Bureau on February 20. 

Qiu's Weibo account, which has more than 2.5 million followers, was also suspended.

The arrest of Qiu on the charge of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" was met with questions from foreign media, who accused local police of charging him with "a vaguely defined crime commonly used for public order offenses," reported the US-based media outlet Newsweek. 

Responding to questions as to why the judiciary chose this charge instead of basing it on the law of defaming martyrs which came into effect in 2018, media reports said that criminal detention of any suspect must be made on the premise of breaking the Criminal Law, and the suitable clause in the law for Qiu's action at the time was "picking quarrels and provoking trouble," giving the arrest a proper legal basis.

Therefore, contrary to the "vaguely defined crime" claimed by some Western media, the charge reflected the cautious attitude of Chinese judicial authorities towards the rule of law, reports said.  

Seven netizens have so far been detained by police for slandering martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the Galwan Valley conflict, a move that stresses China's efforts to protect heroes and martyrs' reputations and crack down on humiliation or insults against them on the internet. 

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

According to the supplementary articles, 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.

Global Times


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