China’s attempt to conceal information has become a major concern amidst pandemic as the two whistle-blowers, who revealed the devastation of coronavirus in Wuhan, remain missing. Citizen journalists Chen Quishi and Fang Bin uploaded videos of the impact of the deadly virus in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in China, and their whereabouts remained unknown since then.
Human rights lawyer Quishi uploaded several videos in which he captured the footages of overwhelmed staff in Wuhan hospital due to the staggering number of patients. In one of the videos, he even said that he was “scared” because of getting stuck between the devastation caused by the virus and Chinese authorities.
Quishi’s Weibo account was subsequently deleted on February 6 and the lawyer’s family was told that he had been kept under “quarantine” despite no COVID-19 symptoms. Pierre Haski, President of Reporters Without Borders, told a French daily that there is a scarcity of information on the missing pair saying the only certainty is they are in the hands of the Chinese authorities.
Last month, Australian TV current affairs programme 60 Minutes reported that Dr Ai Fen, the head of the emergency department at Wuhan Central hospital, was missing after she criticised the information censorship in an interview. The magazine containing the interview was removed from the newsstands and was deleted from the magazine’s website.
While a video published on the Weibo account of Ai Fen suggests that she is free to move, Reporters Without Borders said that it hopes the video was not staged by the Chinese regime. The organisation added that it remains concerned for journalists Chen Quishi and Fang Bin missing after investigating COVID-19.
China, which has often faced allegations of human rights violations, ironically got entry into UN Human Rights Council Consultative Group on April 1. Chinese diplomat Jiang Duan has been appointed to represent the Asia-Pacific region in the Consultative Group of the Human Rights Council (HRC), a 5-member UN body whose role is to evaluate candidates for the posts of special rapporteurs, independent experts and members of working groups charged with investigating human rights violations.
(Image source: AP)