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Making fun of war martyr online lands Internet user in court

By Yao Yao / Yang Jie (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-07-09 09:23

Making fun of war martyr online lands Internet user in court

A poster of war hero Qiu Shaoyun is displayed at an exhibition in Gwangju, South Korea. Chinese soldier Qiu Shaoyun died in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-1953) in October in 1952 after being struck by a fire bomb during an ambush. The 26-year-old Qiu kept motionless until his death even though his whole body was on fire so as to not reveal his location and win the battle. [Photo/IC]

An opinion leader on China's Twitter-like Weibo was taken to court after joking about the heroic self-sacrifice of a Chinese war martyr.

Sun Jie, a famous micro-blogger called Zuoyeben who has 8.73 million followers on his Weibo account, published a post in 2013 that said: "Because Qiu Shaoyun was lying in the fire and didn't move, diners refused to pay for the half-done and half-rare barbeque and preferred roasted Lai Ning".

The post, which was later deleted by the micro-blogger, was commented hundreds of times within eight minutes after it was published on May 22, 2013.

Chinese soldier Qiu Shaoyun died in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-1953) in October 1952 after being struck by a fire bomb during an ambush. Qiu, 26, remained motionless until he died, even though his body was on fire, so as not to reveal his location and win the battle.

Lai Ning, 15, was awarded the title heroic juvenile after dying having volunteered to help fight a devastating forest fire for four to five hours.

Sun's post created an outcry on the Internet with many users protesting and saying that war heroes such as Qiu deserve the respect of the nation.

"The joke was inappropriate and wrong and I shouldn't have done it," apologized Sun in a post in April this year.

Feeling the apology isn't sincere enough, Qiu Shaohua, the brother of the war martyr, filed a lawsuit of defamation at Beijing Daxing District People's Court, which started its investigation on June 30.

Sun isn't the only one joking about dead war heroes, and some even question the authenticity of their behavior.

A military school student reportedly told his instructor in March that it was physically impossible for Qiu to lie still in a fire, a claim that was rebutted by many who said well-trained soldiers can withstand anything.

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