For some time now, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken it upon itself to silence anyone who makes negative opinions or claims against the Chinese regime on the internet, especially if they are prominent intellectuals who have a large following.
Suspended accounts and arrests are a common currency in China, as happened with the Weibo account of Lao Dongyan, a criminal law professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He had more than 400,000 followers. His user name was deleted, just one month before the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
The prominent professor did not want to talk to the press about the reason for the censorship she suffered.
Lao, however, had a critical stance on the extreme restrictive measures of the CCP’s “zero COVID-19″policy, arguing that the abuses are a threat to the rule of law.
The female intellectual is very active when it comes to giving her opinions in public, in her academic seminars, and in Chinese media.
Moreover, in May, she dared to question facial recognition technology when the CCP merged personal data with public transportation cards and health codes to achieve facial recognition of citizens.
At the time, Lao said she was concerned that the regime was collecting the data to track and surveil specific people and their social and family relationships.
It is noteworthy that Lao worked as deputy director of the Legal Policy Investigation Office of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in 2020, where she reviewed several court cases. However, the CCP has no regard for anyone especially when the 20th National Congress is approaching. Controlling dissent is its number one goal.
Freedom of expression does not exist in China
In recent years, many intellectuals and journalists have been censored, repressed, and arrested after revealing some truth that concerned society.
This is He Weifang’s case. He was law professor at Peking University, who also had all his social media accounts censored. He was criticizing the CCP’s “zero-COVID” policy.
Hu Minzh, a writer and poet from Sichuan, also censored by the Chinese regime when she published an article pointing to the impotence and frustration of the Chinese people.
She wrote, “More than one billion people are ‘waiting for the wind.’ The direction of the wind is the direction. Officials are waiting, entrepreneurs are waiting, ordinary people are waiting, waiting for the ‘wind’ to blow this autumn.”
Censors appear to be on the prowl as the 20th National Congress of the CCP approaches and they monitor all internet content and remove critics from the web.
On the other hand, the regime not only censures intellectuals, but also represses them and finally arrests them, taking them to detention or re-education centers.
CCP critics and human rights activists arrested in psychiatric facility
The arrest of dissidents in China is not something new. The Chinese regime has had detention or re-education centers for decades in order to achieve the absolute submission of its citizens.
These re-education centers are actually brainwashing centers, also called black jails. And they can operate in psychiatric hospitals, hotels, or abandoned buildings.
Corinna Barbara Francis, is a researcher with Amnesty International China. She said, “It’s clear that the underlying policies of punishing people for their political activities or religious beliefs haven’t changed. The abuses and torture are continuing, just in a different way.”
The Chinese regime uses these centers in order to make citizens abandon their religious beliefs or criticisms of the government.
A new report, released on August 16 by Safeguard Defenders, reveals that the CCP continues to send human rights activists and regime critics to these psychiatric centers where they are heavily medicated in order to “re-educate” them.
Some people are left paralyzed and other serious health problems as a result. The CCP has been known to carry out this practice for decades.
The investigation said that 99 people were locked up 144 times in seven years, in psychiatric centers, in 21 provinces from 2015 to 2021.
According to the report, once a person is taken to the center, he or she receives “legal education classes” and will remain there for months, even years.
“A wickedness never seen before,” is how David Matas, a Canadian human rights lawyer who has held senior positions at Amnesty International and other major institutions, described the Chinese regime’s role in dealing with its critics.