Man allegedly detained in China for sharing meme deemed insulting to police

A Chinese man was given nine days of detainment after admitting to sharing a meme making fun of the police.

The man is from Qingtongxia city, in the Ningxia region and has only been identified by his last name, Li. He was allegedly in a group chat with at least 330 members on WeChat, a social media platform. Ningxia police received a tip that a meme insulting the police had been shared in the chat, leading to the launch of the investigation. Li was found to be the sender of the meme, which depicted a dog with a police cap holding a police badge and pointing at the camera.

The Paper, a Chinese state-run publication, released an article about it. Officers, finding Li “dissatisfied” with the Covid-19 measures, called him into the police station for questioning. He “confessed to the illegal fact of insulting the police”, according to authorities. His crime of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” resulted in nine days of detention.

The Covid-19 restrictions in China recently became more strict as the country prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Lockdowns have been reinstated, travel restrictions have gotten stronger, and testing has become mandatory for thousands. In one case, a school with seven to twelve year-old students was locked down overnight, after one teacher tested positive. Similarly, Disneyland Shanghai was closed midday, with people still in the park so that all 33,683 people in the park could be tested after a woman from another region tested positive after visiting the park days before.

Amid growing dissatisfaction among citizens, the Qingtongxia police have taken a “zero-tolerance” policy against anyone found guilty of insulting officers who “defend the legal dignity of the police”, reported state media.




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