China's Hubei, Wuhan Communist Party chiefs removed amid epidemic

Credit: Reuters- Published on February 13, 2020
China's Communist Party has replaced the party heads in the coronavirus stricken province of Hubei and its capital Wuhan, state media said on Thursday, reporting the most high profile officials to lose their posts following the epidemic.
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Credit: TomoNews US
Published on February 11, 2020 -  04:06
China silences whistleblowers
CHINA — After the death of a whistleblower doctor that led to hundreds of thousands of Chinese netizens demanding freedom of speech, little did they know, another unsung hero was about to go quite. Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist who had been doing critical reporting from the center of China's epidemic went missing on Thursday. When friends and family could not locate him, they later learned from police that Chen had been forced into quarantine. Chen's disappearance didn't go unnoticed and by Sunday netizens on Weibo began pleading for his release. Chen had been in the outbreak epicenter since January the 24th, a day after the city was put under lockdown. Chen had visited hospitals that were overwhelmed, funeral parlors and temporary isolation wards and filmed it all. He uploaded videos of what he saw to offer us a glimpse into the reality of the situation and reveal China's struggle to control the situation. Fearing he could be detained at any moment for his reporting, friends checked in with him multiple times per day; but when Chen stopped picking up his phone they began to panic. The following day, a message from his mother was posted to his Twitter account pleading for help. Chen was believed to have been in perfectly good health when he was forcibly detained. CNN contacted the Wuhan city police for information about Chen, however, they claim they had no information on him. The latest incident is pushing China's censoring machine into overdrive; they're desperate to shape the narrative and it is through this desperation that its methods of suppression are being forced into the light. Xi Jinping's government is getting reckless and will do anything to maintain the party's rule by iron fist, they fear free speech and will silence all whistleblowers and the house arrest of a nearly 90-year-old man illustrates that. This is Dr. Jiang Yanyong, an 88-year-old retired military surgeon who became a national hero when he exposed the government's cover-up of the Sars epidemic back in 2003. This so-called 'national treasure' was then detained and forced to undergo brainwashing sessions, or what China calls 're-education' when he wrote a letter to the government asking them to acknowledge that the 1989 student movement was a "patriotic movement." Jiang's wife said, "He is not allowed to be in contact with people outside. He is at home. He has no means of communication with the outside. His health is not good. He is not in a good mental state either. He is not very well. I am sorry, it is not convenient to say more." The free flow of information is the best weapon we have to stop this, so we have to ask ourselves, what exactly is China doing?

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