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China has arrested nearly 500 people for speaking out about COVID-19, report says

That's called 'censorship,' yeah?

Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese authorities have reportedly arrested hundreds of citizens for speaking out about the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports.

What are the details?

On Thursday, Fox News reported that "reports from human rights activists" have revealed that hundreds of people — including professionals — have been arrested for speaking out about the deadly virus.

China Digital Times reports that authorities arrested nearly 500 people between Jan. 1 and April 4, and charged them with crimes for speaking out.

Also, the outlet reports that "[t]he Chinese government's control of freedom of expression and the press has had a negative impact on the epidemic situation in China, and also on the global situation."

You can read more from China Digital Times' full report here.

Fox News notes that Reporters Without Borders has revealed that China has jailed about 100 Chinese journalists at the time of this writing.

What else?

On Tuesday, authorities arrested Chinese constitutional scholar Zhang Xuezhong after he reportedly criticized the government in online remarks.

Authorities reportedly took Zhang away and questioned him after he posted an open letter criticizing the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter, which was widely circulated, but later removed from social media, allegedly demanded China's legislature to enforce political reform and restoring freedom of speech.

Zhang also said that China's rule perpetuated the "outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 epidemic."

He also blasted the government's response to whistleblowers in the early days of the outbreak.

A portion of the letter read, "Twenty-two days before the [lockdown] in the city, Wuhan was still investigating and punishing citizens who had disclosed the epidemic, including Dr. Li Wenliang ... showing how tight and arbitrary the government's suppression of society is."

Zhang was permitted to return to his Shanghai home about 24 hours after he was taken and questioned.

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