A court in Nanjing in eastern China’s Jiangsu province sentenced a popular blogger, Qiu Ziming, to eight months in jail Tuesday for his comments about Chinese soldiers who died in a border clash with Indian soldiers at Galwan Valley in June of last year.
The Chinese government released casualty figures from the Galwan Valley clash that asserted that only four Chinese soldiers were killed in the clash with Indian troops. However, Ziming, a 38-year-old internet celebrity on Weibo, suggested that China’s fatalities in the Galwan clash were higher than reported by the Chinese government. Other soldiers allegedly died coming to the aid of troops in need, increasing the total death toll.
The court found that such comments “infringed on the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs,” making Ziming guilty of “slandering heroes and martyrs” under China’s new criminal law provision that bans such behavior. The court noted that Ziming was receiving a lighter sentence for his crime because he “truthfully confessed to his crime,” and said he would never commit this crime again.
Ziming was ordered to publicly apologize through the national media within 10 days after receiving his sentence.