PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 7, 2020
In Memorial Dr. Li Wenliang
Urge China to Free Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan and Fang Bin
On the second anniversary of the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, Visual Artists Guild pay respect to a hero who on December 30, 2019 warned about the SARS like mysterious pneumonia illness in his hospital in Wuhan. He was subsequently reprimanded and accused of "spreading rumor". Dr. Li died on February 7, 2020.
Dr. Li 李文亮 had said, "In a healthy society, there should not be just one voice. 一个健康的社会不该只有一种声音"
The anger with the netizens in China against the reprimand became so widespread that the Beijing government was afraid that it would become Tiananmen 2.0. Subsequently Beijing called Dr. Li a martyr.
Despite Beijing calling Dr. Li a martyr, citizen journalist Zhang Zhan who went to Wuhan to report on the virus situation in early 2020 is now on the verge of death after being sentenced to four years in prison.
Zhang Zhan 张展 had said, "If fear is the only thing left in a life; then all I can do is to compete with fear until I overcome fear. 若人生只剩下恐惧，那我能做的就是只有和恐惧反复地较量，直到跨越恐惧为止."
Another citizen journalist Fang Bin 方斌 who also reported on Wuhan is still missing. Fang Bin had said, "The cruelty of the virus is far less than the cruelty of tyranny; the source of the virus is tyranny. 病毒的残酷远远比不上暴政的残酷； 病毒的根源是暴政."
Dr. Li Wenliang was honored with Visual Artists Guild's Champion of Freedom of Speech posthumously in 2020.
Both Zhang Zhan and Fang Bin were also honored with Visual Artists Guild's Champion of Freedom of Speech in 2020.
Visual Artists Guild urges the Beijing government to be a worthy member of the global family of nations by first releasing Zhang Zhan and Fang Bin as well as all political prisoners.
Chair, Visual Artists Guild