A popular Chinese blogger was jailed for eight months on Monday for his skeptical attitude towards Chinese casualties during a border clash with India last year. He was sentenced for “defamation of heroes and martyrs”. Chou Ziming becomes the first person to be convicted under the new law introduced in March. In his Sina Weibo microblog account, which has nearly 2.5 million people, he posted two posts “defamating the heroic deeds” of Chinese soldiers. The report says his posts quickly circulated on the internet.
Besides the prison sentence, Nanjing Jianye People’s Court ordered the blogger to publicly apologize for his actions through major online platforms and national media within 10 days. However, the eight-month prison sentence was accepted by the court given the guilty plea and the undertaking not to repeat the offence.
Chou wrote on his blog in February that the Chinese army must have suffered more casualties in the border clash last June than the four dead announced by the authorities. Chinese authorities delayed releasing the death toll until February, nearly six months after the clash on the Himalayan border.
Nanjing police arrested Chou on March 1 and a video was released by authorities highlighting his offense as the blogger admitted his mistake the same day. “I feel very guilty for the inhumane act I committed. I deeply regret it,” the blogger said in the video.