Human Rights Violations in China

Dead and Jailed Chinese Whistleblowers of COVID-19: “Wish to have a Little Breakthrough” in 2021

“The year 2020 in China started with the death of Mr. Li Wenliang, a medical doctor, and ended with jailed Ms. Zhang Zhan, an independent investigative journalist. The Chinese Communist Party has been busy covering up the truth about the coronavirus for the whole year. Without the coverup, the regime would die.” Mr. Wang Dan, who led the 1989 Tiananmen student movement and later escaped the massacre, tweeted when 2021 was around the corner.

Dr. Li Wenliang

He was a young Chinese doctor of Wuhan Central Hospital. On December 30, 2019, when the world was waiting for 2020 with best wishes, Dr. Li, the first whistleblower of COVID-19, was detained and accused of spreading rumors online by the local police. Having witnessed seven patients from the nearby fresh seafood market identified with SARS symptoms, Dr. Li, a responsible medical professional, shared a warning of the outbreak of coronavirus with his colleagues, friends, and relatives in a social media group. However, just for this online sharing, the Chinese authorities arrested Dr. Li.

After days of detainment and interrogation, Dr. Li was released. Wuhan police issued an order on January 3, 2020, saying that Dr. Li confessed to his “crime” and promised to stop spreading the “rumor” about coronavirus. A month later, Dr. Li died after becoming infected with COVID-19 in Wuhan, on Feb 7, 2020. He was 33 years old.

Zhang Zhan

She was a lawyer. When the coronavirus began raging in Wuhan, Ms. Zhang started reporting as a citizen journalist — offering a candid look at the situation on the ground. After months of sharing videos and text updates on WeChat, Twitter and YouTube — the 37-year-old’s social media feeds went dark in May. The Chinese authorities detained her, claiming she was spreading lies.

From May to December, she was illegally jailed. During the nine months, Ms. Zhang refused to eat to protest the Chinese regime that deprived of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. By the end of 2020, she was convicted of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” and sentenced to four years in prison. she was brought into court in a wheelchair, having lost a significant amount of weight.

“Wish to have a little breakthrough” in 2021

Zhang Zhan is one of at least 47 journalists currently in detention in China. At least three other citizen journalists disappeared abruptly from Wuhan after sharing updates from the field about COVID-19 in China. Ms. Zhang had fought for those missing journalists.  Peacefully facing off the oppressive dictatorship, she just stated: “I wish to have a little breakthrough, because so many people live in fear and are afraid of speaking up, even for justice.”

Dr. Li Wenliang, a good husband, a kind father of a toddler, and a faithful son, was silenced and forced to confess to being guilty of telling the truth. Had the Chinese authorities not covered up or deprived freedom of speech in China, the world would have learned of the outburst of coronavirus in 2019, and 1.8 million lives could have been saved in 2020.

2020 was a year in which the world should have seen the true colors of the Chinese Communist regime. Xi is a dictator who committed genocide against the Uyghurs, who put human rights defenders in prison, who controlled and censored all media in China to systematically brainwash people. It is not an overstatement to compare Communist China to Nazi Germany.

As one born and raised in Communist China, I will speak up, and say it loudly in 2021, “We need to end the evil Chinese regime!” Let the world have this simple but significant wish in the new year.

#FreeZhangZhan, #EndCCP


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