First Published on March 7th, 2020
Translated by: Deyu Wang
Today is March 7, 2020. It has been a month since Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As one of the eight earliest whistle-blowers of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, Dr. Li Wenliang was persecuted by the Chinese authorities and was only 33 years old when he died. The death of Dr. Li Wenliang has aroused worldwide concern and widespread anger at the Chinese authorities. The Chinese people’s appeals for free speech are unprecedentedly strong and urgent. In the face of turbulent public opinion, the State Supervision Commission decided to send a team to Wuhan to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the “Li Wenliang Incident” on the next day after the death of Dr. Li Wenliang. We noticed that the day before yesterday, the Chinese Health and Medical Commission retrospectively awarded 34 medical workers who died of the COVID-19 epidemic, including Dr. Li Wenliang, the title of “Excellent Workers of Epidemic Prevention”, but did not make any explanation about their persecution, that is, Dr Li Wenliang’s charge as “a rumor monger who posted false information on the Internet” has not been revoked.
It has been a month since the State Supervision Commission’s announcement to carry out a thorough investigation into the Li Wenliang Incident. People with a little knowledge and common sense know that Li Wenliang’s Incident is not complicated and the investigation is not difficult. Given the high efficiency of the Chinese government in suppressing free speech, publishing a thick book paying tribute to the CCP’s leadership and requiring people to be grateful to the “great leader”, the investigation work of the State Supervision Commission must have been completed long ago. We strongly urge the State Supervision Commission to publish the results of the investigation, and look forward to the authorities’ answers to the following issues of public concern:
1. Is the information on the epidemic disclosed by Dr. Li Wenliang in his WeChat group true?
2. The Wuhan police reprimanded Dr. Li Wenliang and other 7 whistle-blowers who disclosed the epidemic. Did the police have sufficient legal and factual basis and violate people’s right of free speech? If so, who should be responsible for it?
3. How did the police learn of the messages from Li Wenliang and other whistle-blowers? Is the means of access legal? What role did WeChat play in this incident?
4. Did the government have information on the epidemic at that time?
5. How was the CCTV’s report on “8 rumor-mongers have been investigated” on January 2, 2020 produced? Who should be responsible for it?