Despite the open image that the Chinese government tries to give to the international community regarding the coronavirus, during these weeks they have known different censorship situations that have caused outrage in much of the population.
A possible case is the disappearance of journalist Chen Qiushi, of which nothing has been known since last Thursday, February 6. Chen came to Wuhan on January 24, one day after it was declared in quarantine, and uploaded videos to Youtube Y Twitter to show what really happens there.
Upon arriving in the city he publicly promised that "I would not spread rumors, I would not create social panic and he would not hide the truth. "He also assured that he would not contact patients in serious condition and that he would not leave Wuhan" until the outbreak is under control. "
Before going to the epicenter of the coronavirus, Chen was already known for his coverage of the Hong Kong protests in 2019. On that occasion he already suffered government censorship, which removed his Weibo account, a Chinese platform similar to Twitter, where He had more than 700,000 followers.
"While I'm alive, I'll talk"
During the two weeks that this citizen journalist – as he calls himself – has reported on the situation of the coronavirus before all contact with him was lost, he interviewed staff from different hospitals, toured the city and visited the construction of Huoshenshan Hospital.
大 年初 四 ， 我 和 武漢 當地 的 市民 一起 ， 實地 探訪 武漢 蔡甸 區 火神 山 醫院 的 建設 工地 ， 送去 3 萬 個 口罩 並 帶來 以下 第一手 報導 ， 向 全世界 展示 了 火神 山 工地 的 細節！ 由於 時間 趕 任務 重 ， 工地 上 處處 充滿 了 危險 ， 我們 送完 口罩 簡單 拍攝 之後 就 離開 了。
【完整 視頻】https://t.co/avQ5PPZHjc pic.twitter.com/3eKOZbOiPx
– 陈 秋实 （陳 秋實） (@ chenqiushi404) January 28, 2020
In some videos he noticed that he was being persecuted by the authorities and came to say the following: "I'm scared. In front of me is the disease. Behind me is the legal and administrative power of China. But while I'm alive I will talk about what I have seen and what I have heard. I'm not fear to die. Why should I fear you, Communist Party? " The guardian.
On February 5 he went to visit the Fangcang Hospital to check if there was a shortage of resources, and since then it has not returned to show signs of life. The dawn of the six his mother posted a video on Chen's Twitter account in which he gave the alarm and asked the help of Internet users to find him.
– 陈 秋实 （陳 秋實） (@ chenqiushi404) February 6, 2020
Quarantined "to the force"
During the week that has elapsed since his disappearance, different theories have circulated about his possible whereabouts. His friends argue that Chen has been quarantined although his body temperature when he went to the hospital was normal. However, Xu Xiaodong, friend of the journalist, wonders: "Why does mandatory quarantine require the confiscation of mobile phones? Why not let Chen have contact with his family? "
They have also reported that their whereabouts have not been confirmed by the authorities. For its part, according to the newspaper global.udn.com, the national security personnel said that "Chen Qiushi's mobile phone had been confiscated" and that the community where he lived "had been infected, so that all that population had been isolated."
In this sense, Xu Xiaodong insists that it makes no sense to take away his cell phone because of his isolation and questions such investigations: "The community where Chen lived did not seem to be in the state of infection described by the state's security," he wrote on social networks.
The newspaper Deutsche Welle (dw.com) states that when trying to contact Chen "sometimes the phone goes silent after giving a dial tone" and, on other occasions, "the other part hangs up".
Buddy with the government?
Thousands of people protest on social networks to know what has happened to Chen and ask that "Do not become the new Li Wenliang", the doctor who warned of the outbreak of coronavirus and was censured by the government, who also died the same day as Chen disappeared.
But not everyone is Chen's fans. Some Internet users think that the journalist may be sidelined with the government, and assert that this is why he was able to enter and move "freely" through Wuhan, although when he arrived the city was already in quarantine.
Although it is not known exactly what happened to Chen, it would not be surprising if he had been arrested by the authorities. In addition to the clear case of Dr. Li Wenliang, since the magnitude of the coronavirus was known, other citizens who told about Wuhan's situation have been arrested or their profiles on social networks have been removed.
It is the case of Fang Bing, who was detained for 10 days for showing full Wuhan hospitals and moving bodies in minibuses; or Wang Yajun, a Chinese writer who criticized the government's way of acting in the face of this crisis on the internet, and was also arrested. The arrests were known from the beginning, but Chen Qiushi has not known anything for a week.