Guwahati: Qiu was imprisoned for questioning the casualties of Chinese at the Galwan Border clash with India.
As the ruling Communist Party of China is celebrating its centenary celebrations on 1 July, various international organizations raise voices for the immediate release of Qiu Ziming, a Chinese blogger and political commentator who was imprisoned for eight months because of his questioning over the casualties of their soldiers during the Galwan valley Indo-China standoff.
The 38-year-old former reporter with Economic Observer newspaper, who has over 2.5 million followers on digital platforms, was sentenced by a court in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing on 31 May 2021 on the charge of defaming heroes and martyrs of China in social media posts.
Qiu had to beg apology on the Beijing-controlled broadcaster CCTV for mentioning the casualties over the Himalayan border clash.
As one year passes away after the Galwan river valley conflict in Ladakh on 15 June 2020, the Indian Army paid homages to the supreme sacrifices of its personnel, laying a wreath at Leh war memorial. A defense statement proudly mentioned the bravery of 20 soldiers, who laid down their lives without a single shot being fired to defend the great nation on the 3,440 km line of actual control, causing heavy casualties to the opponents.
However, the Communist government in Beijing initially did not acknowledge any casualties to the People’s Liberation Army members in the high altitude (over 17,850 feet) clash. New Delhi had made a statement about the soldiers who had given their lives to prevent the Chinese misadventure. All the martyred Indian soldiers were sent to their respective homes for cremation with full national honors.
Tight-lipped Beijing admitted only in February this year that five military officers and soldiers were killed in the Galwan faceoff.
Indian sources claimed that at least 45 PLA members were neutralized in the conflict, and they all were buried at a nearby locality. All the Chinese media outlets, which function under the strict controls of Beijing, remained silent over the matter. Lately, the Global Times reported about an event where the citizens paid tributes to their soldiers on Galwan episode.
Paris-based Reporters sans/without Borders (RSF) recently called on the Chinese regime to release Qiu along with all other detained journalists and press freedom defenders. RSF’s East Asia bureau chief Cédric Alviani commented that ‘by questioning the government’s narrative, Qiu only performed his duty as a journalist and should never have been arrested, let alone sentenced to a prison term.