Chinese reporter who exposed Covid and ‘disappeared’ for 600 days turns up alive
A Chinese journalist who vanished for 600 days after exposing the Covid situation in Wuhan has turned up alive – and he's refusing to say where he went.
Chen Qiushi took the last available train into Wuhan in January 2020, risking his life in a then Covid-riddled area to report on the outbreak and challenge the Chinese government.
The 34-year-old former lawyer revealed how residents were being locked in their homes when the then mystery virus was ripping through the city, reports the Mirror.
He also compared Covid to SARS, claiming that the Chinese Communist Party had pulled a “cover up of the truth and the block of information” in both situations.
“If we spread the news and information faster than the virus does, then we can win this war,” he said in a clip, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.
Chen continued documenting the unfolding disaster in the city during its first lockdown by interviewing people who had lost their loved ones and filming inside local hospitals.
He also visited the Huanan Seafood Market, which was heavily implicated in the initial outbreak.
Given the authoritarian tendencies of the Chinese government, it is no surprise that his brave reporting made him a target.
Shortly before his disappearance, seemingly aware that the government was on to him, Chen posted a defiant video.
“I’m not even scared of death. You think I’m scared of you, Communist Party?” he said.
Suddenly, after a fortnight of reporting from Wuhan, Chen went quiet and was not heard from again until this month, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Chen published a letter on Twitter and appeared in a video alongside a friend. At no point did the journalist reveal where he may have been for almost two years.
“Over the past year and eight months, I have experienced a lot of things. Some of it can be talked about, some of it can’t,” the letter read.
“I believe you understand.”
So far, Chen has not responded to requests for interviews from global media organisations regarding the ominous statement.
Worryingly, he is not the only Chinese journalist to have vanished during the pandemic according to Australian reporter Sharri Markson, who has published a book, What Really Happened in Wuhan, on the pandemic and subsequent cover-ups.
He said that there were 897 cases of Chinese citizens being punished for challenging China’s official line between January and April 2020 alone.
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