The death of a whistleblowing doctor who was reprimanded for warning about the new coronavirus has sparked rare calls for political reform and free speech in China.Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist in Wuhan - ground zero of China's virus epidemic which has killed more than 800 - succumbed to the disease Friday over a month after he first raised alarm about the SARS-like virus.He was among eight physicians punished by Wuhan police for 'rumour-mongering'.But after his death struck a collective nerve, a number of academics have spoken up to demand more freedoms in China.At least two open letters demanding free speech have circulated on social media since the 34-year-old's death - one signed by 10 professors in Wuhan. Doctor Li Wenliang (left and right), 34, who died from coronavirus in the early hours of Friday morning after first raising the alarm about the illness The death of doctor Li Wenliang has sparked rare calls for greater freedom of speech in China Li's efforts 'vigorously maintained the interests of the country and society', read that letter, which has since been censored on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media site.'Put an end to the restrictions on freedom of speech,' it demanded, and 'openly apologise' to Li and the seven other doctors punished for discussing the emergence of the virus in December.The other letter - signed on Friday by an anonymous group of alumni from the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing - called on authorities to 'guarantee the constitutional rights of citizens'.'Resolutely oppose making political security the top priority -- that is an extremely selfish goal of a small organisation!' it said.The letters are a rare call for political reform in China, a country where dissidents are often jailed and criticism of the government is quickly scrubbed.Many references to the two letters had been removed from Weibo by Sunday. In case you beloved this information in addition to you desire to receive details with regards to ophthalmologist baguio (https://www.whitecoat.com.au/ophthalmologist-(eye-specialist)/Qld/Pialba/mclintock/1023573) generously pay a visit to our web-page. Dr Li was sent a letter by Wuhan police (pictured) that warned if he 'refused to repent he would be punished' Beijing has sought to quell public anger by positioning Li Wenliang as a hero, despite local police reprimanding himWhile the World Health Organization and other experts have heaped praise on China, saying it took decisive steps to try to contain the virus, critics say precious time was lost by early inaction from the local government.Li - diagnosed with the virus on February 1 - said in a Weibo post in late January that local police had forced him to sign a statement agreeing not to commit any more 'law-breaking actions'. RELATED ARTICLES
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He said police had summoned him after he saw test results from some patients suggesting a SARS-like virus and reminded colleagues in a group chat to take stronger precautions.In the letter he was warned by police that if he 'refused to repent he would be punished'.The final part of the letter, Li was asked 'if you insist on your views, refuse to repent and continue the illegal activity, you will be punished by the law.
Do you understand?' Since his death, Beijing has sought to quell public anger by positioning the doctor as a hero. People attend a vigil in Hong Kong for dead Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, who tried to warn about the new coronavirusCriticism is being deflected towards local authorities in Hubei province who are taking the bulk of public anger over the handling of the epidemic.Social media users accused the Chinese government of a 'cover-up' over the death.'He wasn't allowed to speak.
He wasn't even allowed to die,' wrote one person on popular messaging app WeChat. China's anti-graft watchdog announced Friday it was sending a team to Wuhan where it would investigate 'issues involving Dr Li Wenliang reported by the masses'.'It sends a clear message that the central authorities are determined to get to the truth and hold those responsible accountable,' said the state-run China Daily newspaper in an editorial on Friday.Meanwhile Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador in the United States, said he was 'really saddened' by the doctor's death.'We are so grateful to him for what he has done in our joint efforts' fighting the virus, Cui tweeted.