A man in northern China has been sentenced to one year in jail for an online video that denigrated Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire and a revered figure for Mongols, one of China’s major ethnic groups.
According to a police report Wednesday, the offender, surnamed Luo, stepped on a portrait of Genghis Khan on May 20 and posted a video of the act on Kuaishou, a popular livestreaming platform. The video was then circulated widely in chat groups and on social media, with some angry viewers reporting Luo to the authorities, calling for punishment. There are nearly 6 million Mongols in China, according to the latest national census in 2010.
After trials in Ordos, a city in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on Dec. 4 and 12, the public prosecutor maintained that Luo had violated China’s Criminal Law, and the court sentenced him to one year in prison. Luo also apologized during the trial for the harm he had caused.
The report, which was first posted by the Ordos police department, stated that the video had caused a negative impact on the social and political stability of the local community. According to the city government’s official website, the Mongol population of Ordos numbers around 190,000. The case report has since been deleted from the police department’s WeChat account.
Some users on microblogging platform Weibo questioned the legal basis of the verdict and the length of the sentence. One user doubted whether Luo had indeed committed a criminal act, and suggested he should have been given short-term detention instead. Another user wrote: “Punishment is due if he uploaded [such a video] on purpose, but what is the basis for one year in jail?”
Editor: Qian Jinghua.
(Header image: A portrait of Genghis Khan (center) is displayed at a souvenir shop at Wulan Butong Grassland, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, 2008. IC)