Saturday, October 22, 2016

Slandering Heroes - China's Supreme People's Court Cites Precedents

Image result for lei feng
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 On Langya Mountain
Five Heroes of Mt. Langya
Image result for lei feng
Lei Feng
The indispensable Susan Finder has drawn my attention to a series of civil cases (see China Law Translate)- recently highlighted for didactic purposes by the Supreme Peoples Court.  It is captioned  "人民法院依法保护 狼牙山五壮士”等英雄人物人格权益典型案例   The People's Court, according to law protects  the Five Heroes of Mount Langya, etc. - Established cases involving  heroic persons' reputational rights and interests."  The cases illustrate the civil consequences of defaming persons of high reputation. 

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. 

Below is a rough "crowd-sourced"  translation of Pu's provocative post .
2、2013.6.8日12:03:17,账号9  “六十年来最大谎言之一是雷锋,他骗了我二十年!他主动迎合推手,日记都集体创作。每月七八块津贴能成百块捐,若非腐败便是只能是编,那年月饿死三千多万人,我六五年的人只照过一次相,他半夜不睡装逼闹鬼,躺被窝打手电学毛选,都有人照相!身后有数千张照片!北京公安真抓推手,去抓雷锋的推手吧。”
2) June 8, 2013: One of the biggest lies of the last 60 years is Lei Feng. He hoodwinked me for two decades, actively pandering to his promoters, his diaries a collective creation. A monthly allowance of seven or eight yuan and he’s making 100-yuan donations – either that’s fiction or there’s corruption involved. Back then 30 million died from starvation, people my age might have taken a single photograph, and yet when he’s up late at night studying Mao with a flashlight, there are people taking pictures! He left thousands of photos behind! Beijing police, if you want to arrest hidden forces, go arrest the hidden forces behind Lei Feng.

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