OPENING THE DOOR
>>>On Wednesday this week, Li Zehua , a journalist who recently resigned from his job as a news anchor at China’s state-run China Central Television to report as a citizen reporter on the front lines of the epidemic in Wuhan, was apparently detained by officers from state security. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
Li, who had managed to livestream his dispatches, and who also reported continued harassment from local police and security guards, arrived at Wuhan’s Baibuting Community, an area hit particularly hard by the epidemic, on February 16. He livestreamed a story on February 18 from a crematorium in the city about how porters were being hired at high wages in order to transport corpses. On February 25, he did a report in which he interviewed migrant workers who were forced to set up camp in the underground parking garage at Wuchang Railway Station.
Li’s citizen journalism in Wuhan followed in the footsteps of two other journalists, Fang Bin and Chen Qiushi, both of whom are now missing.
As state security officers caught up with him and prepared to detain him Wednesday, Li Zehua recorded a final message speaking to the men outside his door.
In this message, he talks about his belief in the importance of speaking up and the inspiration he took from Chai Jing (柴静), the celebrity CCTV anchor whose documentary “Under the Dome,” about serious air pollution in China, drew more than 300 million views online before being deleted by authorities.
Our translation of Li Zehua’s message follows.
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