Chinese professor who criticised Xi Jinping over his handling of Corona pandemic and called him a dictator detained as his whereabouts remain unknown

    08-Jul-2020   
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Chinese law professor Xu
Chinese law professor Xu Zhangrun was detained on July 6th for criticising Xi Jinping
 
A Chinese law professor at Beijing's Tsinghua University, Xu Zhangrun, who had criticized Xi Jinping over his handling of the Corona pandemic in the country has been officially detailed. But his family says that his whereabouts are unknown and the authorities are not keeping the family informed about his condition.
 
Prof. Xu Zhangrun who is also a jurist was detained on Monday, July 6, by the Chinese authorities after he openly criticized the Chinese President Xi Jinping over his Coronavirus pandemic response. Xu had criticized Xi even earlier and was said to be under the scanner of the Chinese state authorities.
 
Xu in an online essay attributed the severity of China's pandemic situation to Xi's lack of leadership. He also lambasted Xi for trying to cover up information about the pandemic and predicted that China's economic slowdown would cause a "decline of national confidence" as well as "political and academic indignation." He then wrote that the outbreak reflected systemic problems in the country which the government fails to address.
 
As per Chinese online new portal New Talk, Xu had published an online essay titled "Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes" in 2018 where he condemned Xi for pursuing totalitarian powers similar to those of former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Mao Zedong. The professor had blamed Xi for the country's recent economic and cultural regression in the essay and noted that Xi's intention to remove the two-term limit on his office showcased his dictatorial attitude.
 
Xu's family says that they are being targeted by the Chinese authorities and are stigmatised with false allegations made by the authorities.
 
Chinese dissents continue to disappear
 
Xu is the latest victim of Chinese totalitarian regime under Xi Jinping. He became the latest Chinese dissident to be silenced for his views and detained at a unknown location. After doctor Li Wenliang who exposed the cover-up of Wuhan virus outbreak was detained and stigmatised, many other activists who spoke up against the government and President Xi have been arrested or have disappeared after being detained.
 
In April this year, Two Chinese activists Chen Mei and Cai Wei, were detained for almost two months for sharing censored material about the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. They were set to face trial on criminal charges but the government is dragging the case and they are still in prison. The two activists were running a online project that published material about issues like #MeToo movement, eviction of migrant workers in Beijing apart from exposing the cover-up of Chinese virus cases in November and December last year.
 
In March, Chinese Tycoon Ren Zhiqiang who criticized Xi’s response to Coronavirus pandemic disappeared. He had called Xi Jinping “a clown who stripped naked and insisted on continuing to be an emperor.”
 
The US has expressed 'deep concerns' over Xu's detention and demanded his immediate release. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus who stated the US stance, also urged the CCP to respect the freedom of expression. Highlighting the tightening ideological controls on university campuses in China, the US spokeswoman said that 'PRC must release Xu and uphold its international commitments to respect freedom of expression'.