Firefighter libel: Public apology to be issued
A COURT in Huai’an City in eastern Jiangsu Province on Tuesday ordered a local resident to make a public apology for libeling a firefighter who died battling a blaze.
The apology should be made in media outlets in Huai’an within a week, the court said.
This is the first litigation of its kind following the adoption of a national law to protect the reputation and honor of “heroes and martyrs.” The law took effect on May 1.
After the verdict, the man, surnamed Zeng, read a letter of apology in the hope of being forgiven by family members of the dead firefighter as well as the public. Zeng said he would not appeal.
Zeng circulated incorrect information on social media on May 14, libeling Xie Yong, a firefighter who died on duty on May 12, according to the prosecutor of Huai’an.
Police detained Zeng on May 15, and a prosecutor filed a case for investigation on May 17.
On May 3, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate stressed the importance of filing public interest litigation cases against the defamation of heroes and martyrs.