Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_FR_RGB_blk_100517

China declared whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang a 'martyr' following a local campaign to silence him for speaking out about the coronavirus

China declared whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang a 'martyr' following a local campaign to silence him for speaking out about the coronavirus
China declared whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang a 'martyr' following a local campaign to silence him for speaking out about the coronavirus
Li Wenliang sounded the alarm about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan on December 30. He died of the virus on February 7.
  • China on Thursday awarded Li Wenliang, the doctor who sounded an early alarm about the novel coronavirus, the title of "martyr."
  • In December, police in Wuhan made Li admit to lying about the existence of a worrying new virus discovered in the city. Li died on February 7 after contracting the virus. 
  • An investigation by the Chinese Communist Party found on March 19 that the actions of law enforcement in Wuhan was "irregular" and "improper."
  • "Martyr" is the highest honor the Communist Party of China can bestow on a citizen killed working to serve the country. The country will honor him with three minutes of silence on Saturday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

China named Li Wenliang — the doctor who sounded the alarm about the coronavirus that later killed him  — a "martyr" following a campaign to silence him by police in Wuhan.

Li was among 12 dead medics given the official honor by the Chinese Communist Party on Thursday, according to state media outlet CCTV.

"Martyr" is the highest honor the Communist Party can bestow on a citizen killed working to serve China, according to the state-run Global Times tabloid.

LI WENLIANG
Li on February 3, 2020 - four days before his death. LI WENLIANG/GAN EN FUND via REUTERS

Li was an ophthalmologist working at Wuhan Central Hospital. In late December, he shared with his colleagues on popular instant-messaging service WeChat a worrying diagnostics report that identified a new illness which looked much like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

That turned out to be the novel coronavirus which has now infected more than 1 million people around the world.

Authorities in Wuhan immediately pounced on Li, and made him sign a letter admitting he was "spreading rumors" and "making false comments."

Li later contracted the coronavirus and died of it on February 7 in Wuhan Central Hospital, his place of work.

Xi Jinping Coronavirus China
A woman passes a poster of President Xi Jinping in China. REUTERS/Aly Song

Just days before his death Li told The New York Times by text: "If the officials had disclosed information about the epidemic earlier I think it would have been a lot better. There should be more openness and transparency."

His death was met with an outpouring of anger from many Chinese people, who used a number of hashtags calling for freedom of speech, an end to state censorship, and an apology to Li.

That anger appeared to have struck a nerve with the Chinese government. On March 19, the country's top anti-corruption agency, the National Supervisory Commission (NSC), ruled that Li's punishment was "irregular" and "improper."

The NSC said the police must be held responsible and that Li's punishment should be rescinded, according to Reuters.

China has proactively censored content on social media that is critical of the state's response to the coronavirus crisis. In early March, a new law came into effect which criminalized the posting of "illegal" and "negative" content critical of the government online.

At 10 a.m. local time on Saturday, the whole of China will observe a three-minute silence to honor all martyrs who died fighting the coronavirus, Xinhua reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider
D'autres articles qui pourraient vous intéresser