Grief, anger in China as doctor who warned about coronavirus dies

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

A whistle blower has turned into a hero in China and Beijing faces a dilemma Lee when young was a doctor in Wuhan the center of the corona virus outbreak in China and raise the alarm about the virus back in December but police reprimanded him for spreading rumors lead did not stop sharing information about the sickness he was saying then leave himself caught the virus he died early this morning in China his father Lee sure yeah and spoke to the BBC what he was not spreading rumors the virus was out there he sent the messages initially only to his friends and family he was not spreading rumors I hope the government will withdraw the recommend what my son said has now proved to be true it can be dangerous to speak out in China but millions are speaking out about Lee online and on the streets of places like Beijing I would I deeply regret his death and feel sincerely shot for him we need to see if the impact of his death can shake up anything I hope you did not die in vain for easier problem he he left us when we needed him to fight the virus and he was a victim of it too in the meantime he was criticized unfairly treated because of his report so we feel very sad and regretful no real PVO put on the he was the first one who found out about the virus but he then received a reprimand from the police I think people still don't have enough sense of the potential threat from this virus remarkably the speakers also gave their names the government has been accused of delaying the news of doctor Lee's death or covering it up but at a news conference in the capitalist boats one for the Chinese health commission insisted the authorities had battled to save him ovation show will hi shoot from thing yeah doctor Lee when the young from Wuhan died from pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus during the fight against the epidemic after a great effort to save him unfortunately he passed away a national health commission expressed its deep sorrow and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family yes long has been keeping track of the comments on Chinese social media about the death of doctor Lee Wong is a China researcher at Human Rights Watch she told me what she's been reading online Chester out pouring Saturn is and how to do towards the government's handling of the crisis was just so obvious I haven't seen this level of anger in many years so I think people are very angry with the government for you know initially hiding information from the public and punishing people would try to raise awareness about the issue so you can just see how have all this pent up anger and now they're you know really sending out and the Chinese government stepped in to try to shut down the the conversation on what what what was Beijing actually able to do it so clear I mean there are so many messages and then there I could gone in minutes so if you actually using social media last night then you can create it feel that decisions Europeans really increasing and then the government tried to control the composition so one part of the story is you kind of summed it up is that doctor Lee had been reprimanded by Chinese police after share those concerns about the virus with a medical school classmate on we chat that scolding that shutting down if someone trying to tell the truth is that also part of what's been resonating so strongly among Chinese citizens absolutely I mean what he was doing and just you know he was being a doctor he tried to warn his colleagues about the situation so this is something like anybody who has decency would do so he he wasn't an activist type he was just a normal person normal doctor was good conscious so people feel that you know this could happen to anybody anybody could be punished for just speaking to just two colleagues but as you say you have never seen a level of this anger kind of just going forth publicly on social media can you just give us a sense of how social media in China work specifically way what is everything expressed on the web what by Chinese citizens being monitored and censored by Chinese authorities how independent is is way below I mean we will is a private company so he do that censorship according their own rules but they also take orders for long the Chinese government so there's two aspects of the censorship yeah I mean I've seen this you know the anger is there and it does says should be is coming very quickly I mean this is a how to create a crisis that is affecting almost everybody in China so in everybody's involved so so it sounds like some way one plays are essentially government bureaucrat light but I mean I can't be everybody do you know anything about the people who actually are inside way wa who are moderating what they see and are they becoming more rebellious the control over the sensors and actually getting tighter there's more restrictive on what they do for example there are like a surveillance inside the censorship department of Chinese social media companies so if you take a screen shot off your computer that would be money to buy the company will be punished as severely wow so the sensors inside the company are being censored themselves yes what kind of dilemma does this current situation present for the Chinese government to censor or not censor when the whole world is watching I think about one a week ago there are a lot of like local journalists who work for the Chinese media Unimog commercial media day you did a great job in reporting the virus they went to find so I think at that time there was a kind of a peer that is says she was not that tight I think for the central government they wanted to get the troops to attend the meeting the says you know people are very angry and they're all this out going on anger so then they tried tightening control of the media so today I mean postings about doctor levy are they still being censored and being a racist yes I mean there's still a lot of anger and a lot of censorship so if you use that social media you can just clearly feel it so I know there's like a long list of terms search terms that way what sets out like Winnie the Pooh often kind of a a symbol for changing paying gentlemen obviously tank man is coronavirus and doctor Lee now on that list not corona virus and doctor Lee say but a lot of people and now they're having a hash tag you know I demand free speech I want free speech and those phrases are either censored or searchable so the government or we bought a company are taking actions towards people's demand for human rights yes along a China researcher at Human Rights Watch thank you very much for your time today thank you for having

Coming up next