China passed a new legislation that bans “defamation” of military personnel, adding an array of legal tools to its 2018 law below which a well-known Chinese blogger was punished lately for “defaming” PLA soldiers killed in last year’s clash with the Indian Army at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh.
The legislation, which was adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on Thursday, states that no organisation or person may perhaps in any way slander or derogate the honour of servicemen, nor may perhaps they insult or slander the reputation of members of the armed forces, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The new legislation also bans the desecration of plaques in honour of military personnel. Prosecutors can file public interest litigation in instances of defamation of military personnel and the infringement on their genuine rights and interests that have seriously impacted their functionality of duties and missions and broken the public interests of society, according to the new law.
The new law adds to an array of legal tools that currently ban defamation of revolutionary “martyrs”, such as revisions to the country’s criminal code, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
Commenting on the new law, Song Zhongping, a former PLA instructor and Hong Kong-based military affairs commentator, mentioned the legislation which also covers households of service personnel was meant to bolster the People’s Liberation Army’s sense of mission.
“Previously, our legal instruments were not complete and this new law will provide more comprehensive protection for the rights and honours of our soldiers,” Song told the Post.
“We must recognise that military conflicts in the future could be very intensive, and ensuring that the military is well respected in society is very important,” he mentioned.
On May 31, an online celebrity in China was sentenced for “defaming” Chinese soldiers killed in a clash with Indian troops at Galwan last year.
Qiu Ziming, who had more than 2.5 million followers, received an eight-month jail term, the state-run Global Times reported on June 1. This was the initially reported case of a suspect becoming charged immediately after China passed a new law in 2018 which stipulates that it is illegal to defame the country’s heroes.
Qiu, recognized as “Labixiaoqiu” on the internet, was also ordered to publicly apologise by way of big domestic portals and the national media inside 10 days, a court in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu province ruled.