Chinese Citizen Journalist Who Reported On Coronavirus, Goes Missing
Chinese citizen journalist Chen Qiushi who has been reporting on coronavirus went missing on February 6, Thursday. His family suspects that Wuhan police forcibly quarantined him for disseminating viral video reports about coronavirus.
Videos made by Chen and others like him offered a glimpse of how appalling things have been, and many of them have gone viral on social media.
Chen had become the most visible face among several residents who were documenting the epidemic around them. For many, he had become the go-to source for any real facts about the human disaster.
According to CNN World, the 34-year-old's sudden disappearance has gained much traction on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. Chen's reporting from Wuhan had gone viral on multiple platforms like Twitter, where he has nearly 2,50,000 followers, and YouTube, where he has 4,30,000 subscribers.
Initially, Chen live-streamed himself on Weibo. However, Chinese officials deactivated his account after he reported on peaceful protests in Hong Kong last year.
On Friday, Chen's friend posted a video on Twitter, where Chen's mother is talking about her son's disappearance. "I'm here to beg everyone online, especially friends in Wuhan to help find Qiushi, find out what's going on with him," she can be heard saying.
Chen's family and friends are able to access his social media accounts even after his disappearance, with a password he left behind in case he lost access.
His mother and friends have uploaded videos since his disappearance, claiming that police in Qingdao notified his parents that he has been "detained in the name of quarantine", but have refused to release his location.
A few days ago Dr Li Wenliaga 34-year-old ophthalmologist in Wuhan, who had first found the coronavirus passed away after he got infected with the virus. His death had sparked outrage across China. With the strict limitations on social media, the intensity and scope of the dissent is something rarely seen in China.
People have called for an official apology from the government and flooded social media.