- The Chinese Government confirmed 4 deaths in a clash last year against Indian military.
- Qiu Ziming got arrested for making fun of the deceased soldiers and the news.
- Internet users found that Qiu had a dirty history.
Since the imprisonment of the provocative Spanish rapper Pablo Hasél on February 16, violent street protests have been going on every night across Spain despite the Covid-19 nightly curfew imposed by the Spanish government. For his “lyrics and tweets that compared Spanish judges to Nazis and called former King Juan Carlos a mafia boss,” among other accusations, Pablo was given a nine-month prison sentence.
Before he got arrested, he tweeted: “Tomorrow it could be you. We cannot allow them to dictate to us what to say, what to feel and what to do.” His supporters consider it a fight for freedom of speech, “part of the backbone of the Spanish Constitution.”
On the other side of the world, in China, Qiu Ziming, also got arrested due to some of his posts on Weibo last week. It was, however, received with applause.
On June 15, 2020, in a steep section of a mountainous region in the Galwan Valley, Chinese and Indian troops clashed for six hours. The Indian press reported 20 deaths on their side including a commanding officer in the mêlée. But the exact number of casualties of Chinese soldiers has been vague and censored for a while in China.
On February 19, 2021, the Central Military Commission of China published a special announcement confirming that four Chinese soldiers died and one was heavily injured during the clash, all of whom are now hailed as national heroes.
Qiu Ziming, using the account @Labixiaoqiu, commented about the news on Weibo. He pointed out that all four soldiers died while rescuing injured comrades, so there must have been more casualties that they failed to save.
He insinuated that the Indian government made public the results right away because they thought they won the fight with less loss. Also, he made fun of some phrases employed by the announcement, like “the enemies fell apart and ran away cowardly,” saying that the Chinese government always uses words to make itself look better.
One day after, local police announced that they have arrested Qiu over intentional alteration of facts and defamation of national heroes. The news was well received online:
“We can be here playing games and reading Weibo at ease thanks to all the soldiers out there fighting for us. His protectors died for him, yet he spit on their bodies.”
Some people suspected that Qiu might be receiving foreign funds to support his anti-government actions, while others think that he was just trying to get more attention. They found out that Qiu had made up fake news several times before and tried to scam money from his followers. His account has been deleted by Weibo.
In 2015, the Amendment (IX) to the Criminal Law of the PRC reinforced online speech regulation. Spreading rumors online can incur up to 7 years in prison.