The Chinese government and the Central Military Commission recently issued a document that aims to improve the commendation and protection of martyrs.
It said more laws, regulations and supporting policies should be put in place to build a comprehensive martyr commendation work system.
Family members of martyrs should receive more assistance and care in terms of mental health, livelihood, housing, pension, medical care, employment, education and other services. Authorities should particularly strengthen policy support that helps martyrs’ families find jobs or start businesses.
The document also proposed upgrading the quality of martyr memorial facilities, improving their protection and management by clarifying responsibilities, and making use of information technologies in their maintenance.
It also called for more publicity and promotion of martyrs’ stories, as well as carrying out activities for the public to pay tribute to and remember martyrs and learn from their spirit.
It said schools should organize regular visits to martyr memorial facilities, and writers will be encouraged to create more excellent literary works to spread the stories of martyrs and promote their spirit.
The search for the missing martyrs’ remains and their family members should continue, and authorities should resolutely crack down on any words or acts that distort, vilify, desecrate or deny their deeds and spirit.
The document is another move to increase the protection of martyrs. In 2018, the top legislature adopted the Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs, and in March last year, the Criminal Law was amended to stipulate that anyone insulting, defaming or otherwise infringing on the reputation of martyrs should face a prison sentence of up to three years.
In May, micro-blogger Qiu Ziming was found guilty of slandering heroes and sentenced to eight months in prison after becoming the first person charged with the criminal offense following the amendment.
Martyr protection work has made great progress in recent years, but there is still an urgent need to improve services for martyrs’ families, upgrade the maintenance of martyr memorial facilities and promote martyrs’ stories and spirits, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs said.
The ministry will organize meetings to promote and interpret the document, oversee and guide research by local departments and issue specific measures, it said.