BEIJING, Nov. 16 -- Li Qixian, a travel blogger who posed disrespectfully next to the tombstone of Chinese martyrs, was sentenced to seven months of imprisonment for infringing upon the honor of the martyrs, according to the first-instance ruling of the local court in Pishan County of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The court also ordered him to publicly apologize through the media within 10 days to eliminate the negative impacts.
Li Qixian traveled to Kangxiwa Martyrs Cemetery, located in the Karakorum Mountains, on July 15. He first stepped on the stone base engraved with the name of the cemetery, and leaned against a monument marking the cemetery for photographing. Then he frivolously posed next to the tomb of Chen Xiangrong, who sacrificed his life at the Galwan Valley border clash, making a pistol-like gesture toward the tombstone, the local investigation department said. Li shared the photos on several social network platforms and the photos spread widely. The set of photos has been heavily criticized by Chinese netizens and caused negative impacts.
The local procurator filed a public prosecution against Li on September 30 and started civil public interest litigation incidental to criminal proceedings, proposing a sentence of seven months' imprisonment. The local court opened the trial on the case and adopted the sentencing recommendation.
Insulting and slandering heroes and martyrs will hurt national sentiments, touch the bottom line of the rule of law, and infringe the core values. Cyberspace is not a place beyond the rule of law. Those who use the internet to infringe on the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs must pay due price.
In December 2020, the National People's Congress voted and passed the Criminal Law Amendment (XI) and it came into effect on March 1, 2021. Article 35 stipulates that: Insulting, defaming, or otherwise infringing on the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs, harming the public interest, where the circumstances are serious, is to be given a sentence of up to three years imprisonment, criminal detention, surveillance or deprivation of political rights. In addition, Article 26 of the Heroes and Martyrs Protection Law stipulates that: Those violating the names, images, reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs shall bear civil responsibility in accordance with law if they harm the public interest of society. If they violate public security management, the public security organ shall impose public security management penalties in accordance with the law. If the act constitutes a criminal offence, criminal responsibility shall be investigated in accordance with the law.