Nanjing: 8 months in prison for blogger who asks for the truth about the conflict with India

Convicted of having "defamed the martyrs" of the border clash. Beijing declares four dead, but unconfirmed sources contest the number. Five other Chinese bloggers are under arrest on the same charge. The case of Wang Jingyu, a dissident who was arrested and then released in Dubai.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A Nanjing (Jiangsu) court today sentenced a well-known blogger to eight months in prison for having "defamed the martyrs" of the border conflict that broke out with India last summer.

Qiu Ziming is guilty of doubting the death toll among Chinese soldiers: the authorities declared that four soldiers had been killed.

On 15 June 2020, Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Galwan valley, between Indian Ladakh and Chinese Aksai Chin, along the Himalayan border: 20 Indian soldiers died in the conflict. Unconfirmed sources initially spoke of 45 Chinese victims. Beijing admitted the loss of the four soldiers only in February. The two countries share a 3,488 km border in the rugged Himalayan region, over which they fought a brief but bloody conflict in 1962.

With more than 2.5 million followers, Qiu is a star of Weibo, China's Twitter. He is the first citizen to be jailed under a new provision of the Criminal Code. It punishes those who slander the nation's "heroes and martyrs", especially those celebrated in the history of the Chinese Communist Party. Five other internet users are under arrest for attacking the government over the management of border skirmishes with India.

On May 27, the UAE authorities released a young Chinese dissident wanted by Beijing on the same charge of defamation. Wang Jingyu was arrested in April by Dubai police at the city airport: he was traveling from Turkey - where he had sought refuge - to reach the United States. Wang said local policemen and Chinese diplomats pressured him to agree to sign a document for his extradition to China.