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Surgeon whistleblower of SARS pandemic under house arrest

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The Chinese military surgeon who exposed the government’s 2003 cover-up of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic has been under de facto house arrest since last year, according to his friends and family. The Guardian reports that the fate of 88-year-old Dr Jiang Yanyong, a retired general in the People’s Liberation Army, has been brought into the spotlight after a whistleblower doctor, Li Wenliang, who exposed the coronavirus epidemic, died last Friday at the age of 34.

Since April last year, officials have cut off Jiang’s contact with the outside world and restricted his movements after he wrote to the top leadership asking for a reassessment of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement, said a close friend, on condition of anonymity.

The report says that Jiang has pleaded more than once with the authorities to reappraise the Tiananmen pro-democracy movement, which was brutally suppressed 31 years ago. It remains one of the most politically sensitive issues in China.

Jiang became a national hero by exposing the government’s cover-up of the SARS epidemic in 2003, but was detained and forced to undergo “brainwashing sessions” after he called on the government to acknowledge that the 1989 student movement was a “patriotic movement”.

Full report in The Guardian

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