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Guangdong's first public interest litigation of infringement upon a martyrs' right of reputation came to trail
2019-10-21

After the trial, Zeng signed the relevant documents. [Photo by Xia Shengquan]



The Zhongshan Intermediate People's Court on October 17 held a public trail on a public interest lawsuit filed by the Zhongshan People's Procuratorate against Zeng for infringing upon the right of reputation of fire fighting martyrs who were sacrificed in Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

This case is the first public interest litigation of martyrs' right of reputation infringement in Guangdong since the implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs.

On the afternoon of March 31 this year, Zhao Wankun and other 26 forest firefighters and 3 local firefighters gave their lives heroically in a fire-fighting operation in Muli County, Liangshan, Sichuan Province. On April 2, the Ministry of Emergency Management and the People's Government of Sichuan Province approved the 30 heroic comrades as martyrs.

On April 2, the defendant Zeng, openly made derogatory remarks in a WeChat group about the fire fighting and sacrifice of the martyrs in Liangshan, thus infringing upon the reputation and honor of the heroic martyrs. Members of the 500-member WeChat group criticized Zeng for his inappropriate remarks on the heroes but he did not repent. He kept arguing with the group members and was removed from the group by its Aadministrator.

Afterward, a group member reported the case to the public security organ. Zeng was captured by the public security organ on April 4. On the same day, Zeng was sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention for the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble.

During the trial, the procuratorial organ gave evidence and debated on the facts of infringement, the subject of public interest litigation and its social impact.

Zeng said he was fully aware of his mistake and expressed remorse for his actions.

The verdict will be announced on a later date.

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