This is Xu Zhangrun, 57 years old, a veteran law professor at the renowned Tsinghua University. He is one of the few academics in China who has dared to criticize harshly the Chinese Communist Party’s (the CCP’s) handling of the coronavirus.
On July 6, about 20 police officers in dozens of cars showed up at his residence around 5 a.m. to take him into custody. Authorities accused him of soliciting a prostitute, charges that are seen by his close friends as a move to denigrate him.
According to a BBC report, they confiscated his computer and papers.
Xu was under house arrest for publishing an article in early February 2020, criticizing the CCP’s handling of the pandemic. Even as of March 2019, the university launched an investigation into Xu for publications he made in 2018, where he said he was against the elimination of the limits of the presidential term, which would allow Xi Jinping to remain in power for life.
Consequently, he was banned from teaching, researching, and recruiting students at the university.
On June 27, Xu published his book “Six Chapters from the 2018 Year of the Dog” in New York. The book is a collection of his writings highlighting the need for political change in China, as well as the threats of a dictatorial regime. Some believe that the publication of this book was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the CCP to go after him.
Xu tried to publish the book in Hong Kong, but the publishing house gave in to pressure and canceled its publication.
Close friends said he was ready and prepared to be taken away, to the point of having a bag with toothbrush and clothes hanging on the door.
At present his whereabouts are unknown.