mandag 17. februar 2020

Chinese activist arrested after calling Xi Jinping 'clueless' on coronavirus crisis

The Chinese authorities have detained a prominent activist and legal scholar who issued a blistering attack on president Xi Jinping for mishandling the coronavirus crisis amid a nationwide crackdown on speech freedom. Xu Zhiyong, a former law lecturer and founder of the social campaign New Citizens Movement, was taken away by police on Saturday evening while he was seeking refuge at the home of a lawyer in the southern city of Guangzhou, activists Ye Du and Hua Ze said.His host Yang Bin, her husband and son were also taken away for “hiding criminals” but were released after 24 hours, they said. Yang has reportedly posted comments online demanding officials be held responsible for the whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang who died this month.

A staff member who answered the phone at the Shilou township Public Security Bureau in Guangzhou refused to comment. Xu published an essay early this month, which called on China’s president to resign for his lack of ability to govern China, citing the coronavirus crisis and the mishandling of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests – a dangerous move that guarantees official anger.