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A blogger charged with 'defaming martyrs'

2021-03-02 03:09:28 GMT2021-03-02 11:09:28(Beijing Time) Sina English

Chinese prosecutors formally charged a popular social media influencer with “defaming martyrs” on Monday, for suggesting the death toll of the China-India border clash was higher than the official count of four.

The blogger, listed in the indictment by his surname Qiu, was charged under a newly added provision to China’s criminal law that bans the “defamation of martyrs and heroes” and came into effect yesterday.

Qiu had more than 2.5 million followers on the Twitter-like platform Weibo under the pseudonym “Crayon Ball.” He was initially detained on February 19 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and causing trouble.”

He “severely harmed the dignity of the national border garrison and the soldiers’ image, and harmed the common interests of society,” read the indictment from prosecutors in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.

If convicted, Qiu faces up to three years in prison.

Last month, China confirmed that four soldiers were sacrificed in a June brawl with Indian forces, which triggered an outpouring of grief and patriotism in state media and online.

Qiu’s account has been deleted. The prosecutor released a video where he made a confession and expressed remorse.

(Agencies)

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