|Born||19 September 1985 (age 34)|
Daxing'anling Prefecture (China)
Chen Qiushi (Chinese: 陈秋实; pinyin: Chén Qiūshí; Mandarin pronunciation: [ʈʂʰə̌n tɕʰjóu.ʂɻ̩̌]; born September 1985) is a Chinese lawyer, activist, and citizen journalist who became widely known for providing firsthand coverage of the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests and 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
Childhood and education
Hong Kong protests
Chen posted online videos reporting on the protests in Hong Kong against the 2019 extradition bill, criticizing the government for characterizing the protestors as violent rioters. Days after the videos' release, he was detained by Beijing authorities, who deleted his Sina Weibo account and videos. Before deletion, his Sina Weibo account had had 740,000 followers.
After being blocked from Chinese social media for his reports on the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, Chen took to Youtube and Twitter to continue his reporting. After hearing about the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Chen traveled to Hankou, Wuhan, on 23 or 24 January 2020, where he interviewed the locals and visited various hospitals including Huoshenshan Hospital, which was still under construction at the time. According to Chen, doctors were overworked and there were insufficient medical supplies, but prices of goods were otherwise stable. Chen published a video on 30 January showing the crowding in Wuhan hospitals, with many people lying in corridors. Chen stated,
|“||I am afraid. In front of me is disease. Behind me is China's legal and administrative power. But as long as I am alive I will speak about what I have seen and what I have heard. I am not afraid of dying. Why should I be afraid of you, Communist Party?||”|
|— Chen Qiushi, 30 January 2020|
By early February 2020, while reporting about the coronavirus outbreak, Chen had 430,000 YouTube subscribers and 246,000 Twitter followers. Chen's supporters accused the Chinese government of censorship of the coronavirus outbreak. According to The Guardian, many pro-Chen comments on Sina Weibo were censored. One supporter quoted Stephen Chow, stating, "Kill me and ten thousand other versions of me will come out."
Chen was disappeared on 6 February 2020. His friends were unable to contact him since 7 pm UTC+8 on 6 February. On 7 February, family and friends received news from authorities that Chen had been detained at an undeclared time and place and held in an unknown location. The authorities claimed that the reason for the detention was quarantine.
- ""我是演说家"东北小伙陈秋实讲《大东北》解密"你瞅啥"". 辽沈晚报 (in Chinese). 22 October 2014. Archived from the original on 2020-02-10. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
- Gan, Nectar (16 October 2019). "Chinese lawyer Chen Qiushi, censured over Hong Kong social media posts, vows to keep speaking out". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 10 February 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
- Kuo, Lily; Yang, Lillian (10 February 2020). "Coronavirus: journalist missing in Wuhan as anger towards Chinese authorities grows". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Li, Jane (6 February 2020). "Wuhan virus: Chinese citizen journalist reports from quarantine zone". Quartz. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
- "He spoke out about the Wuhan virus. Now his family and friends fear he's been silenced". CNN. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Chen, Lulu Yilun (7 February 2020). "Citizen Journalist Covering Virus Outbreak From Wuhan Goes Missing". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 7 February 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
- Natalie Thomas; David Culver (8 February 2020). "Citizen journalist covering coronavirus forcibly quarantined by government in Wuhan, say friends". CNN. Retrieved 9 February 2020.