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Public interest lawsuit filed over alleged smearing of war hero

By Quan Zhanfu | | Updated: 2023-12-12 20:16
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A public interest lawsuit seeking civil damages has been filed against three individuals in Hangzhou for allegedly tarnishing the image of He Kexi, a revered hero of China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and War of Liberation.

The lawsuit, filed on Nov 30 at the Hangzhou Internet Court, accuses the defendants of utilizing He Kexi's image in short videos to portray him as a negative historical figure. This act, according to the plaintiff, constitutes a civil tort and infringes upon the hero's legal rights.

The lawsuit stems from a discovery by He Kexi's family in August 2023. They noticed self-media platforms using the war hero's image in short videos that distorted and smeared his reputation. Subsequently, the family reported the matter to the West Lake District People's Procuratorate in Hangzhou.

An investigation by the public interest litigant revealed that between October 2022 and July 2023, individuals surnamed Guo, He, and Fu produced and published short videos misrepresenting He Kexi's image. The lawsuit argues that self-media creators have a responsibility to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of their content and refrain from disseminating false information that infringes upon the rights of others.

Furthermore, the lawsuit emphasizes He Kexi's significance as a national hero who played an important role in securing China's independence and liberation. The defendants' actions, the plaintiff claims, not only hurt the feelings of He's family and undermine the image of a war hero but also violate Chinese law. The lawsuit seeks to hold the defendants accountable for civil tortious liability under the Law on Protection of Heroes and Martyrs and the Civil Code.

The Hangzhou Internet Court confirmed the filing of the lawsuit on Monday.

He Kexi, born in 1906 in Sichuan province, joined the Communist Party of China in 1929. His remarkable contributions during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and War of Liberation earned him the title of Major General and the prestigious First Class Liberation Medal in 1955. Prior to his death in 1982, He served as the vice-chairman of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1966.

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