Tuesday, June 1, 2021 2:21 pm
A Chinese blogger who challenged China’s official death toll in a border incident with India has been sentenced to eight months in prison for denigrating heroes and martyrs.
It is the first time anyone has been convicted on this charge, which arises out of an amendment to the criminal law, according to state media.
Qiu Ziming, 38, had pleaded guilty at a people’s court in Nanjing, the Supreme Court reported in Beijing on Tuesday.
The first deadly clash in 45 years had occurred between the armed forces of India and China at the disputed Himalayan border in June 2020.
According to information from New Delhi, 20 Indian soldiers were killed, while Beijing did not initially give any details of its own casualties.
Only six months later, in January, was it officially announced that four Chinese soldiers had been killed, and they were immediately elevated to the status of communist heroes.
The former journalist, who is followed by some 2.5 million users on the micro blogging site Sina Weibo, suggested in February that China’s armed forces must have suffered higher casualties, according to Hong Kong press reports.
He was arrested shortly afterwards, the court now found that in his blog, the 38-year-old distorted the heroic deeds of the officers and soldiers of the border troops, denigrated and maligned their heroic spirit, and thus injured the reputation and honour of the heroic martyrs.
The new passage in the criminal law under which the blogger was sentenced was only put into effect after the act in March.
Under it, up to three years’ imprisonment can be imposed.
Since Qiu had pleaded guilty in court and in a confession on state television, he received a lower prison sentence, according to official information.