torsdag 4. mai 2023

Wuhan citizen journalist who documented Covid outbreak released after three years detained

Fang Bin, a retailer turned citizen journalist who documented the early outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan, has been released after more than three years detention in China, a family member told CNN. Fang disappeared after sharing videos showing the on-the-ground situation in the central Chinese city, the epicenter of the original outbreak, as authorities sought to suppress information about the true extent of the unfolding global emergency.

He was released on Sunday and was in Wuhan, according to a family member who declined to be named due to concerns about repercussions. Fang’s health had suffered while in detention, where he had trouble eating and sleeping, and he had lost weight, the person said. His videos posted to social media in early 2020 laid bare the realities of the virus’ deadly spread, contradicting the official narrative presented on China’s tightly controlled state media. Authorities locked down the city of Wuhan on January 23 of that year, but there had been a period of roughly three weeks between when health officials announced a mysterious illness and confirmed it was spreading between people.