Lessons and consequences of the death of the doctor Li Wenliang

Lessons and consequences of the death of the doctor Li Wenliang

23. März 2020 0 Von Horst Buchwald

Lessons and consequences of the death of the doctor Li Wenliang

Wuhan, 23.3.2020

Li Wenliang was only 34 years old when he died. The virus he had warned of, cut him down mercilessly. Wenliang was a member of the Chinese Communist Party. But this did not stop the „local authorities“ in Wuhan from summoning him for interrogation. He was accused of disturbing public order with his „false statements“. Then they forced him to sign a cease-and-desist declaration with fingerprints stained red. The declaration says: “ If you do not let up and continue to engage in illegal activities with impertinence, the law will punish you. Do you understand that?“

After his death, sometimes daring protests dominated the mood on the Chinese Internet. Especially after the cease-and-desist declaration was published. But even more important was this insight: if the health authorities had isolated the first patients immediately after Li Wenliang’s clues, we would most likely not have been as far behind in the fight against the virus as we are today.

When it came to announcing the death of Li Wenliang or keeping it quiet, and strangely contradictory news appeared for several hours, Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the party newspaper „Global Times“ took courage and wrote this: „Wuhan should apologize to Li Wenliang“ and he asked: „Why didn’t any official visit him when he was seriously ill? According to Hu, it is important to realize: „This man has done nothing wrong. He was just the first doctor who warned his professional environment about the dangerous virus.

Even if this sounds like a fairy tale, it actually happened: The Communist Party of China posthumously cleared the doctor. According to a statement by the party’s disciplinary committee, the family received a „solemn apology“. It was further stated that disciplinary measures would be taken against two police officers.

Teach? There is no organised protest in China, let alone a counterparty. But there are more and more Chinese who openly demand „freedom of speech“. What seems like a tiny plant should not be underestimated, however. It is true: the forums with this title, which were started on Weibo, have been closed. But with Wenliang, the followers of freedom of opinion now have a martyr – and in his name they have achieved a first small victory: The CP China has admitted that its local representatives are responsible for a gross error. So they could not help it – they had to apologize. Scließlich: The fact that a chief editor of the leading party newspaper does not stand up for „freedom of opinion“ could be a sign that the movement is stronger than it seems from Europe.

The fact that now „two police officers“ representing the „local authorities“ will have to pay for it is hopefully not the end of the investigation.