China: Calls for fee speech after coronavirus whistleblower dies

Ten Wuhan professors argued for free speech after a doctor died who had been reprimanded by the police for warning about the Wuhan coronavirus. The professors with other academics from throughout China demanded the government apologize and compensate coronavirus whistleblowers. (Business Insider, February 8, 2020, by Kat Tenbarge)

The Communist party announced it was sending a team to Wuhan to investigate, but public anger escalated. The professors wrote “Where there is no free speech, there is no safety,” and a social media blogger wrote, “When you get a message about something that could risk millions of people’s lives, your first thought is not, ‘How can I warn everyone?’ but ‘Will I be in danger for speaking?’” (Los Angeles Times, February 8, 2020, by Alice Su with contributions by Gaochao Zhang and Nicole Liu)

The period from January 19 to February 1 during which there was a robust expression of concern by Chinese citizens ended abruptly as the government censors started shutting down WeChat groups and censoring social media posts. The government also reprimanded tech companies for allowing online free speech. (Reuters, February 11, 2020, by Reuters Beijing Newsroom)

For recent FAC coverage on related issues, click here and here.

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