Two men in China’s Jiangsu province have insulted the name of a firefighter that died in the line of duty.
The 21-year-old firefighter, Xie Yong, fell to his death on May 12 from the 18th floor of a residential building that was on fire. He removed his air apparatus and gave it to a colleague who had trouble breathing. Then, to escape, he climbed down a rope but slipped. Xie and his colleagues saved 36 people trapped in the building and evacuated more than 110 others.
The men said on WeChat that the building should have been left to burn to the ground and the dead firefighter’s actions prevented that, along with other insults.
One of the men, who was kept in jail for 15 days and fined 1000yuan ($160) has apologised saying; – “I feel deeply sorry and guilty,” “I insulted the firemen who have sacrificed sweat, blood and even their lives for other people.”
The other man is awaiting prosecution. He was the first person charged under China’s new law on the protection of heroes and martyrs, which took effect on May 1. It is understood to be a law that even if the families of heroes and martyrs don’t press charges, public interest litigation can be brought.
Image for illustration purposes.