07/07/2020, 10.01
CHINA
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Beijing arrests Prof. Xu Zhangrun who denounced Xi Jinping tyranny

The academician was charged with "soliciting prostitution ". He was suspended from teaching for an article against Xi's lifetime presidency. He was also critical of the regime’s pandemic management. The Communist Party is leveraging the fight against coronavirus to crack down on dissident intellectuals.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Police yesterday arrested academician Xu Zhangrun, a well- known critic of President Xi Jinping.

The former law professor at Qinghua University professor’s friends and colleagues reported his arrest. The police took him away from his home in Changping, a suburb of Beijing, where he lived under surveillance.

According to reports, Xu is accused of "soliciting prostitution" during his visit to Chengdu (Sichuan) last summer.

The professor, suspended from teaching in 2019 for an article against Xi's lifetime presidency, has long been targeted by the Chinese authorities. People close to him said that he had been preparing for his inevitable arrest for quite some time.

In February, Xu published an article criticizing the leadership for failing to control the coronavirus. He accused the country’s leadership of “putting politics ahead of the people”  and destroying the political system which was heading for reforms after the death of Mao Zedong.

Last May, on the eve of the annual session of the National People's Congress, Xu asked the Chinese leadership to reflect on its management of the pandemic and to apologize to the people for its mistakes.

The Professor of Law also observed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) repression of civil society and freedom of expression made it impossible for people to respond immediately to the alarm for Covid-19.

For many observers, the Chinese regime is using the fight against coronavirus to crack down on dissident and intellectuals. Xu Zhiyong, founder of the New Citizens Movement, was arrested on February 15 in Guangzhou (Guangdong) during a "health check".

Since February there has been no news of He Weifang, a Law Professor from the University of Beijing. He criticized the CCP, arguing that the lack of press freedom had favored the spread of lung disease.

Liang Yanping, a professor of language and literature at Hubei University, and Wang Xiaoni, a retired professor from Hainan University, were placed under investigation in April for expressing appreciation for the "Diary from Wuhan", in which the writer Fang Fang tells the story of life in the Hubei capital, the epicenter of the pandemic, in the days of the "lockdown".

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