Citizen journalists Chen Quishi and Fang Bin disappeared in February after posting videos showing the devastation of the killer virus in Wuhan.
While Doctor Ai Fen has been unavailable since March 29, it has apparently been confirmed that she is working again at Wuhan Hospital this weekend.
This comes when China has placed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of Covid-19, according to a directive from the central government and notices published by two Chinese universities, which have since been deleted.
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Reporters Without Borders president Pierre Haski told the Parisian that there was “very little” information about what happened to the missing pair, but said “the only certainty” is that they are ” in the hands of the Chinese authorities. “
Human rights lawyer Mr. Quishi, 34, captured disturbing footage inside a hospital in Wuhan in February showing how overwhelmed staff were with the influx of patients.
He had previously uploaded other videos and in a video posted on January 29, he revealed that he was “afraid” – apparently caught between the virus and the authorities.
On February 6, his Weibo account was deleted and the next day, his parents were informed that he had been placed in “quarantine” after having had no symptoms of the virus.
There has been no sign of him since.
Likewise, Mr. Bin, director of a clothing store, released a five-minute video on February 1 showing what he claimed to be eight bodies of patients found in front of or inside a hospital in Wuhan.
The video has reached over a million views.
His laptop was then confiscated by the police after a long interrogation.
Mr. Fen’s February 4 video shows men in protective gear trying to enter his home, while no other video has been uploaded since February 8.
“His family remains to this day without news,” said Mr. Haski.
Questions also remain around Wuhan hospital emergency director, Dr. Fen, another virus activist – although he has been confirmed since he returned to work.
The doctor was apparently silenced two weeks after criticizing the regime’s censorship of the coronavirus epidemic in a Chinese magazine last month.
If the other two whistleblowers have been arrested, the “mystery remains” in the latter case, says Haski.
He said there is “no information yet” about what happened to her or where she was, but suggested that she could have just gone to the ground.
Haski said it was “much more difficult for the Chinese authorities to send a doctor to prison” than the other two whistleblowers, for example.
A French journalist said on Monday he spoke to Dr. Fen at Wuhan Hospital.
“She is doing very well, she is at her post,” said Arnauld Miguet on Twitter, showing a photo of the director.
Haski said there were two possible exits for the two missing civilian journalists.
The first is that the authorities are hiding them until the crisis goes out in a few weeks, but he said it was unlikely.
The other scenario, he said, is that in the space of about six months, we suddenly hear that they have been charged with subversion.
In addition, Ren Zhiqiang, a former businessman close to Vice President Wang Qishan, has been missing since March 12 after publicly criticizing the regime’s lack of transparency in its handling of the crisis.
He had apparently compared President Xi Jinping to a tyrannical “clown”.
On Tuesday it was announced that he was wanted by the authorities as the target of an investigation.
Haski said any potential trial would likely be “held in camera” with sentences dictated by the Chinese Communist Party.
Regarding the new restrictions on university publications, all of these articles will be subject to further verification and will have to be approved by the government, according to positions that are now being cut, CNN reports.
The virus has so far killed more than 100,000 people and infected around 1.7 million people worldwide.
A medical expert from Hong Kong said the research he was involved in did not undergo the new examination levels in February when it was published.
Chinese researchers have been publishing studies since late January and some findings raise questions about the government’s accounts of the crisis.
Chinese authorities now appear to be cracking down on what is made public.
Anonymous researcher told CNN it would hamper scientific research on the virus and accused the government of trying to “control [the] narrative “and” paint it as if the epidemic did not originate in China “.
The new guidelines were issued at a meeting of the State Council working group on March 25 and apparently posted on the Fudan University website on Friday before being deleted, CNN said.
The Wuhan Chinese University of Geosciences issued a similar notice, which has also been deleted, according to the US news network.