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Corona survivors in Wuhan want answers. China is ‘silencing’ them

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The text messages to the Chinese activist streamed in from ordinary Wuhan residents, making the same extraordinary request: Help me sue the Chinese government. One said his mother had died from the coronavirus after being turned away from multiple hospitals. Another said her father-in-law had died in quarantine. But after weeks of planning, the seven residents who had reached out to Yang Zhanqing, the activist, suddenly changed their minds or stopped responding. At least two of them had been threatened by the police, Yang said.
The Chinese authorities are clamping down as grieving relatives, along with activists, press the ruling Communist Party for an accounting of what went wrong in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus killed thousands.
Lawyers have been warned not to file suit against the government. The police have interrogated bereaved family members. Volunteers who tried to thwart the state’s censorship apparatus by preserving reports about the outbreak have disappeared. The crackdown underscores the party’s fear that any attempt to dwell on what happened in Wuhan, or to hold officials responsible, will undermine the state’s narrative that only China’s authoritarian system saved the nation from a devastating crisis.
Some aggrieved residents have pressed ahead despite the government clampdown. Last month, Tan Jun, a civil servant in Yichang, a city in Hubei province, became the first person to publicly attempt to sue the authorities. Tan accused the provincial government of “concealing and covering up” the true nature of the virus, leading people to “ignore the virus’s danger, according to a copy of the complaint shared online. In a brief phone call, Tan confirmed that he had submitted a complaint to the Intermediate People’s Court in Wuhan, but he declined to be interviewed. With China’s judiciary tightly controlled, it was unclear whether Tan would get his day in court. Articles about Tan have been censored on Chinese social media. NYT
CENSORING CRITICISM?

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