Chinese doctor kills himself after arrest and brutal interrogation

Shi Jun, a neurosurgeon in Heilongjiang, China who reportedly volunteered to treat patients in Wuhan at the start of China’s coronavirus pandemic, killed himself by stabbing himself in the thigh with a toothbrush after being arrested and five hours later He was subjected to interrogation, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Thursday.

Shi’s death surfaced in reports on Chinese government-controlled social media such as WeChat and Weixin. A lengthy post by Weixin with photos of Shi and allegedly deleted reports praising his work in Wuhan prior to his arrest is still available via the Internet Archive, but visiting the original URL of the post displays a message stating that the post violated the “rules” of the website. ”

The news of Shi’s death is reminiscent of the similar case of Dr. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist in Wuhan, where the Chinese coronavirus originated, who was arrested by police in early 2020, interrogated and forced to make a humiliating “apology” after Li told other doctors on a WeChat group that he I have seen patients with symptoms of an unknown respiratory infection. Believing that it was contagious, Li reportedly urged the other doctors to take infectious disease precautions, such as: According to Chinese Communist Party media, Li died in February 2020 from an infection with the Chinese coronavirus.

Like Li, Shi’s death is said to prompt growing bitterness across the country against the Communist Party for insisting on sweeping lockdowns to curb coronavirus infections. Last month, Communist Party authorities admitted there were uncontrolled outbreaks in 28 of the country’s 31 provinces, with the largest in Jilin province — a northeastern region bordering Heilongjiang — and Shanghai, the country’s economic capital. showed up.

As of this week, the central government in Beijing has enforced a brutal lockdown of Shanghai that has left many of the city’s 26 million residents struggling to get food, being shipped to quarantine camps and being separated from their infants and young children. Much of the city is trapped at gunpoint in their homes. Chinese state media, run from Beijing, have reported that Shanghai’s dictator Xi Jinping and the Shanghai Communist Party’s Politburo have ordered officials to implement the lockdown “strictly”, apparently against their will.

Although Shi’s death reportedly occurred nearly 1,500 miles away, Radio Free Asia reflects growing dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Radio Free Asia confirmed with a colleague identified only as “Chen” that Shi died “in the course of the investigation” that led to his arrest. Multiple attempts to reach government agencies and confirm Shi’s fate resulted in nervous refusals to clarify the situation.

According to the RFA – citing the Chinese-language reports circulating on social media – Shi was arrested after an outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus emerged at his hospital.

“The outbreak was sparked by a woman who used her mother’s PCR test result to get herself admitted to the hospital for brain surgery but passed the virus on to other patients, causing an outbreak that led to a nationwide lockdown and billions of people Yuan led in economic losses, according to local media reports,” RFA shared.

Police reportedly identified Shi, the head of neurosurgery at Jidong County People’s Hospital in the northeastern province, as the person primarily responsible for the outbreak, although reports suggested he too was a target of the alleged scam that involved spread the disease.

A post from the anonymous Chinese WeChat account “Letters from Katyusha,” reproduced on Weixin but censored shortly thereafter, claimed that Shi was subjected to “four to five hour interrogations” and accused of paying Jidong District “hundreds of millions of dollars.” to have tasted.”

“During this time he was handcuffed and shackled to a medical examination and humiliated in front of his colleagues,” the report reads.

“The superposition of the two factors caused his nervous breakdown. When he returned from the physical, he used a toothbrush to puncture the aorta in his thigh,” the report said.

Radio Free Asia’s report matches the WeChat posts, and RFA confirmed with “Chen,” the colleague who served as the source, that Shi had died. Government agencies declined to respond to RFA’s questions, according to the agency’s report.

“Calls to the Jidong County Police Department, the county health department and the Jidong County government went unanswered during office hours on Thursday,” RFA reported.

New Tang Dynasty (NTD), a TV station affiliated with the persecuted spiritual movement Falun Gong, similarly reported on Shi’s suicide and the detail that Shi volunteered to treat patients in Wuhan in 2020. According to NTD, Chinese news reports praising Shi had disappeared from the Internet.

Social media users shared video of the alleged report this week, showing a man they claim is Shi being introduced as a national hero for volunteering in Wuhan. In the video, the man appears to be greeted by his twin daughters. Breitbart News has not been able to independently confirm that the man in the video is Shi.

Li Wenliang, the Wuhan ophthalmologist, similarly became the focus of quickly deleted unverified reports on Chinese social media after his initial detention. Li was reportedly among eight people arrested before China admitted the discovery of a novel virus for spreading “rumours” in early 2020; Li had warned other doctors to be more careful about washing hands and wearing surgical masks as he had seen evidence of the spread of an unknown contagious disease.

In February 2020, conflicting reports from China claimed that the 34-year-old was dead and “alive” at the same time Global Times, a national state propaganda outlet, had published an obituary, but Wuhan Central Hospital told CNN he was still alive. That Global Times deleted his obituary but republished it minutes later, suggesting a conflict over how Communist Party officials wanted to approach the news.

Li remains a prominent figure in the minds of Chinese citizens. His page on Weibo, a Chinese government-sanctioned social media network, has become a forum for citizens to express their gratitude to health workers, express frustrations with the government, or simply try to talk to Li and posthumously about him to inform the status of the pandemic.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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