Qui Ziming, a 38 year old popular Chinese blogger is sentenced to eight months in prison because of his comments on military casualties in the Galwan Valley. The blogger had been detained earlier this year for his comments and on Monday, he received a jail term of eight months for “defaming Martyrs”.
This was the first case since the new amendment was attached to the criminal law in China. People charged under this law can be imprisoned for three years.
Qui Ziming has 2.5 million followers on Weibo and is popularly known online as “Labixiaoqiu”. The Nanjing court in east china Jiangsu province had ordered the blogger to apologise publicly through major domestic portals and National media within 10 days.
Chinese blogger jailed
According to global times, On March 1 Qui appeared on China’s state broadcaster CCTV to make a public apology for his comments. “I feel extremely ashamed of myself and I am very sorry,” he said. The court had then taken a note of his “truthfully confessed crime”. “My behaviour was an annihilation of conscience” he added, according to Global times. Qui then entered a guilty plea saying that he would never commit any such crime again to receive a lesser sentence in court.
Last June there had been a clash between Indian military and Chinese troops in the Galwan valley. It was one of the biggest military confrontations in several decades. The comments were made by Qui when China for the first time confessed that four of its soldiers were killed and one seriously injured.
Qui was a reporter for the weekly Economic Observer and posted content that suggested that the commander had survived because he belonged to a higher rank. The posts also suggested that there must have been more casualties which the Chinese authorities are not ready to admit. A Russian news agency had also reported that 45 soldiers were killed in a clash. However, Xinhua, a Chinese state news agency, accused Qui of damaging the reputation of heroes, hurting nationalist feelings through his sensationalist posts.
The Chinese Communist Party has been accused multiple times for suppressing ideas and free speech that could ruin the reputation of the party.