Fire­fighter li­bel: Pub­lic apol­ogy to be is­sued

Shanghai Daily - - NATION - (Xin­hua)

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.

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