10 professors in Wuhan signed an open letter demanding protection against free speech after a doctor punished to warn others about coronavirus died of it

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People attend a vigil to mourn Doctor Li Wenliang on February 7, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.
People attend a vigil to mourn Doctor Li Wenliang on February 7, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.

Photo by Anthony Kwan / Getty Images

  • An open letter signed by 10 Wuhan professors argues that the Chinese government must enforce its own freedom of speech articles in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China.

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  • The letter follows the death of Li Wenliang, a Wuhan physician who was reprimanded by police for "making false comments" after warning people about the Wuhan coronavirus – which he later contracted.

  • The open letter, along with another letter signed by academics around China, requires the government to apologize and compensate coronavirus notifiers and make Li a national martyr.

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At the beginning of the outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus, local physician Li Wenliang warned his medical school alumni group on the discovery of a SARS-like disease through the WeChat messaging app. He was subsequently reprimanded by Wuhan police and ordered to sign a letter acknowledging that he had made "false comments" on the Chinese Internet.

Li's warning turned out to be true, and the Wuhan corona virus has now killed at least 720 people and infected more than 34,500 across the globe. While treating patients, Li, 34, infected the virus itself and died February 6th.

After his death, academics around China signed open letters to the Chinese government. 10 Wuhan Professors signed one letter to demand that the government enforce its own freedom of speech articles in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, along with the apology and compensation for 8 coronavirus detectors.

Screenshots were scattered on Twitter by French professor Sebastian Veg, who teaches the intellectual history of 20th century China, is alleged to be fetched from the Chinese internet. They show the signatures of the professors, along with extracts from the open letter, citing Articles 35 and 51 of the Chinese Constitution.

Article 35 says so The Chinese citizen "enjoys freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, occupation and demonstration," while Article 51 says the exercise of the rights of Chinese citizens "cannot violate the interests of the state, society, and the collective, or the legal freedoms and rights of other citizens."

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Dr. Li Wenliang was a Chinese ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital and an alert who warned of the new coronavirus outbreak, but was called by police and exhorted him to make false comments on the Internet.
Dr. Li Wenliang was a Chinese ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital and an alert who warned of the new coronavirus outbreak, but was called by police and exhorted him to make false comments on the Internet.

Photo by Anthony Kwan / Getty Images

The open letter also calls for the Chinese government to recognize Li as a national martyr. Another letter signed by 9 academics around China also requested that February 6 be made "National Freedom of Speech Day" in Li's honor.

"For thirty years, the Chinese have been forced to surrender their freedom in exchange for security, and now they fall prey to a public health crisis and are less safe than ever," the open letter says, an English translation of the non-profit China Change. "A humanitarian disaster is upon us. The rate at which the rest of the world is being repelled by China is faster than the spread of the virus, leaving China in a unique global isolation."

Read the original article at Business Insider

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