Reputation and rights of personhood get a lot of attention in China. Heresy and blasphemy could land you at the stake during the Spanish Inquisition. Since no gods are recognized in China today heroes stand in their stead. But mockery of heroes has consequences.
One so revered is Lei Feng - a young do-gooder soldier in the People's Liberation Army who died in 1962. Lei has become a mythic character,. His generosity and diligence on behalf of others is held up as a model for all but especially for youth. `Live like Lei Feng' is a message all Chinese Children learn. Lei Feng Day is celebrated every year. And everyone knows the catchy `live like Lei Feng' song. VIDEO
|Five Heroes of Mt. Langya|
But the consequences may be more than civil liability. Beijing attorney Pu Zhiqiang since the Tian An Men 1989 protests has defended dissenters and provoked controversy on "sensitive" matters. He was charged and convicted last year of "picking quarrels" via his posts on WeiBo - a public internet platform like Google + widely used in China. But according to China Real Time Report the charges included Pu's arrest for maligning the revered Lei Feng.