Chinese Doctor Says She is Safe And Well Amid Concern She Was Detained

Sandra Loyd

Whistleblowing doctor Ai Fen has actually validated she is still at work at her medical facility in the main Chinese city of Wuhan after issues over her location and individual safety.

The Paris-based press liberty group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Monday gotten in touch with the judgment Chinese Communist Party to “urgently clarify” Ai’s status, stating she had actually been inaccessible for the past 2 weeks.

It stated it hoped that a video on her Weibo account recommending she was at liberty wasn’t “staged by the Chinese regime.”

Ai informed RFA on Tuesday that it was she who had actually been sending the posts from her Weibo account, which she had not been detained, simply working.

“It was I who sent out the posts on Weibo,” she stated. “I never used to use it in the past because I thought it was useless, and I only started using it after this thing happened because there were a lot of people concerned about me.”

“Some of the employees of Weibo behind the scenes kept saying I should post a bit more, but I told them I’d only be able to do it from time to time,” Ai stated.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their concern,” she stated. “I’m doing pretty well, just going to work every day. Everything is fine.”

“I’d like to say … that all I ever wanted was to just get on with being a doctor in peace: thank you for your understanding,” Ai stated.

‘ Under pressure’

Nevertheless, a source knowledgeable about the scenario stated that Ai had actually come under substantial political pressure behind the scenes, and wasn’t in a position to discuss it.

“She probably is under pressure but you shouldn’t call her; call someone else,OK?” the source stated. “Sorry about that — really sorry.”

A staff member who responded to the phone at the Wuhan Central Health Center ER, of which Ai is director, declined to comment when called by RFA on Tuesday

“I don’t think she’s here right now, but I don’t know. Maybe you should just call her directly?” the staff member stated.

Another medical facility staff member likewise declined to comment.

“It’s not convenient for me to answer your questions,” the staff member stated, utilizing an expression frequently utilized to show pressure from the authorities. “You should ask somebody else.”

“Either that or contact our propaganda department … I’m busy now, OK, so would you mind hanging up now?”

Repetitive calls to the Wuhan local health commission sounded unanswered throughout office hours on Tuesday

RSF earlier had actually called into question the credibility of Ai’s Weibo posts, stating that Chinese cops have actually frequently required detainees to expose their social media passwords, then made posts in their name.

Ai was amongst a group of fellow physicians who first sounded the alarm on Dec. 30 about the development of a secret infection in Wuhan that appeared comparable to SARS.

The authorities questioned and detained 8 of the physicians on Jan. 3, consisting of Li Wenliang, who later on passed away of the infection, implicating them of “rumor-mongering.”

Enabling independent voices ‘would be suicide for them’

Ai was earlier provided a stern reprimand after sending out info about the early phases of the break out to a group of physicians, she composed in a now-deleted essay released in China’s People ( Renwu) publication.

Entitled “The one who supplied the whistle,” the short article explained how Ai had actually been silenced by her employers after she took an image of a patient’s test results and circled around the words “SARS coronavirus” in red. She then notified colleagues to numerous cases of the infection.

Dissident artist Ai Weiwei informed an international human rights conference on Tuesday that enabling any type of dissent was anathema to the judgment Chinese Communist Party.

“It would be suicide for them to allow independent thought or critical voices in China,” he stated.

“A lot of people in the international community say that we need China, but China also needs the rest of the world,” he stated. “[China’s leaders] are hoping that things will return to the method they were in the past [the pandemic].”

“I think that is pure propaganda, because if that were to happen, then another crisis would just occur very soon,” Ai Weiwei stated.

China ranked 177 th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Flexibility Index.

Reported by Wong Siu-san and Sing Guy for RFA’s Cantonese Service, and by Zheng Chongsheng for the Mandarin Service. Equated and modified by Luisetta Mudie.

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