A woman in southwestern China found herself behind bars after donning a red scarf which is symbolic of the Communist Party in “suggestive” videos that have gone viral on social media.
The woman, identified only as Tang, had been posting clips of herself fishing for eels in her home of Sichuan on Kuaishou, a popular video-sharing app in China.
In her videos, Tang often wore shorts, skirts, and tank tops while rolling on mudbanks to pull eels from the water.
For a while, she managed to evade censors until late last month, when police discovered that she had been wearing a Young Pioneers’ red scarf while out fishing.
The Young Pioneers is a youth organization in the Chinese Communist Party with members aged 14 and below. Police accused Tang of wearing “bright, revealing clothes” to “attract eyeballs, increase fans and video views.”
“The red scarf is a symbol of the Young Pioneers of China. It represents a corner of the red flag, dyed by the blood of martyrs,” officials said in a statement, according to the South China Morning Post. “Tang’s action has severely defiled what the red scarf stands for: patriotic martyrs, the honour of the young pioneers, and the patriotic sentiments of the people. It has had a bad social impact.”
Tang’s actions allegedly violated the Martyrs Protection Law, which aims to prevent citizens from disrespecting revolutionary subjects.
Last year, a Chinese company selling male enhancement products was fined $190,000 after having Japanese ex-porn star Sora Aoi wear the red scarf in promotions, according to Inkstone News.
Tang, whose Kuaishou account has since been shut down, was punished with a 12-day detention on Mar. 28. She was also fined 1,000 yuan ($150), Sina News reported.
News of her arrest drew mixed reactions on social media. Some thought she deserved the punishment, while others criticized the reason for censorship.
Weibo users commented:
“This is just too much.”
“Defend the honor of the motherland!”
“This citizen solemnly reminds everyone that law enforcement is by no means an extrajudicial place. Public security organs should enforce the law accordingly, through civilized and rational enforcement, and must not be extrajudicial and arbitrary.”
“I have three questions: 1: Is it legal for an adult woman to wear such clothes? 2: Is it legal for an adult woman to wear the scarf? If the answer is yes to both questions, then 3: How do two legitimate rights come together to make a mistake?”
“Everyone is still commenting, aren’t you afraid that you’ll make it next in the news?”