Did China detain Dr Li Wenliang and other whistle-blowers? | Updated: 2020-06-14 14:50
A makeshift memorial for late doctor Li Wenliang at an entrance to the Central Hospital of Wuhan in Central China's Hubei province on Feb 7, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Rumor: China detained Dr. Li Wenliang and other whistle-blowers.


- Li Wenliang was an ophthalmologist. He was not a whistle-blower and was not detained. Dr. Zhang Jixian, a respiratory doctor, was the first to report COVID-19 cases, and was awarded for this contribution.

- On the afternoon of 30 December 2019 (three days after Dr. Zhang Jixian reported cases of unknown infection and one day before Wuhan released the relevant information), Dr. Li Wenliang sent a message to his alumni WeChat group. He claimed that there were "seven confirmed SARS cases", and asked the group not to spread the information. However, leaked screenshots of the conversation spread quickly on the Internet and caused panic.

On 3 January 2020, Wuhan's local police authorities asked Dr. Li to a police station for inquiry, and issued him a letter of reprimand as a means of persuasion.

In mid-January, Dr. Li started to show symptoms of infection. And on 31 January, he was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.

On 7 February, 2020, Dr. Li passed away after all rescue measures were exhausted. On the same day, the National Health Commission publicly expressed condolences over his death. The National Supervisory Commission decided to send an inspection group to Wuhan to investigate issues related to Dr. Li.

On 19 March, 2020, the inspection group released its findings and held a press briefing. Wuhan's Public Security Bureau announced the decision on the matter, pointing to the misapplication of relevant legal provisions in Dr. Li's case, and revoked the reprimand letter.

- On 5 March, 2020, Dr. Li Wenliang was named a "national model healthcare worker in fighting COVID-19". On 2 April, he was honored as a martyr. On 28 April, he was awarded the 24th "May Fourth Medal".

- Dr. Li Wenliang was a good doctor and a member of the CPC. Labeling Dr. Li Wenliang as an "anti-establishment hero" or "awakener" is highly disrespectful to Dr. Li and his family. It is pure political manipulation without decency. On 30 May, responding to the bills introduced by US lawmakers to rename the street outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. "Li Wenliang Plaza", Dr. Li's wife Fu Xuejie issued a statement on Weibo that said, "Wenliang was a CPC member. He loved his country deeply. Should he know about this, he would never allow anyone to hurt his motherland in his name."

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