Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Thursday that Chinese Communist Party officials sent a philosophy professor from Tianjin’s Nankai University to a psychiatric facility after she expressed support for anti-regime protests.
On social media, Professor Wu Yanan confirmed her disappearance into a mental hospital this week. According to one of her posts on WeChat, a Chinese regime-controlled social media app, Wu had had an unspecified mental illness, but she is “basically better.” Sources questioned Wu’s involvement in writing the posts.
After a wave of national protests in late November, primarily opposing China’s “zero-COVID-19” policy, Wu disappeared. Thousands are quarantined in poorly maintained camps if suspected of carrying COVID-19. Chinese protests have been increasing since early 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the lockdown in Shanghai in April of this year, protests became more widespread and more focused on the regime rather than just “public health” measures.
From @RadioFreeAsia: "Authorities in #China have sent a university lecturer to a psychiatric institution after she spoke out in favor of nationwide anti-lockdown protests at the end of November." https://t.co/w3UqaV0svQ
— William Yang (@WilliamYang120) December 16, 2022
Many protesters took to the streets in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, and Guangzhou during the last weekend of Nov. Many held up blank pieces of paper to protest the regime’s violations of freedom of expression. Despite individual protests against lockdowns occurring for months nationwide, the wave of protests during that weekend appeared to have intensified.
Since Nov., Wu had been posting messages supporting her students’ right to express themselves. The RFA cited several anonymous students who shared screenshots of Wu’s censored social media posts. She argued that the school must protect its students and defended those who took part in the “white paper” movement that led to the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions.
According to RFA, Communist Party officials abducted her in a van last month, insisting she needed to be tested for COVID-19. Soon after, she posted on social media that she had been taken to a mental hospital where workers tried to drug her. Before claiming that she was “better” from mental illness, she posted that she hid in the bathroom to announce her kidnapping.
New Tang Dynasty published screencaps of Wu’s last social media posts, including those that got her in trouble. Before her disappearance, Wu wrote, “Who gave you the power to let you forbid us to speak the truth?” She refused to delete her posts before her disappearance, according to New Tang Dynasty.