New Zealand Law Society - Chinese lawyer missing after reporting on coronavirus

Chinese lawyer missing after reporting on coronavirus

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A Chinese lawyer, Chen Qiushi, 34 has not been or heard from seen since Thursday 6 February. He had been making a series of social media posts starting on January 25 about the coronavirus outbreak from the city of Wuhan.

He posted videos and messages reporting hardships faced by Wuhan residents, including videos showing hospital overcrowding. In his posts he criticised the Chinese authorities, accusing them of inefficiency and of restricting freedom of speech.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said that the Chinese Authorities must immediately account for the whereabouts of Chen Qiushi, and ensure that the media can cover the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan without fear of retribution.

“China does not seem to have learned the clear lesson that bottling up the truth about a spreading illness will only make matters worse,” says Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator, in Washington, D.C.

CPJ messaged Chen’s Twitter account which has continued posting since he disappeared. The person running the account said that they had received no information on Chen’s whereabouts since he disappeared.