Chinese Authorities Threaten COVID-19 Victims & Families Seeking CompensationComments Off on Chinese Authorities Threaten COVID-19 Victims & Families Seeking Compensation
Chinese police intimidated and harassed potential plaintiffs in litigation against Wuhan and Hubei governments for failure to release vital information about the novel coronavirus in a timely manner, which resulted in deaths and damages. Authorities pressured victims and families to abandon efforts to seek legal consul online, give media interviews, or contact lawyers offering legal aid.
A group of lawyers, now expanded to about 20, announced the formation of “COVID-19 Compensation Legal Advisory Group” on March 6. They have been offering to provide legal aid to victims or families seeking compensation and redress for deaths or damages due to negligence or mismanagement by authorities in Wuhan and Hubei. On April 20, the group made available a template and a guideline for filing legal claims. A dozen families contacted the lawyers.
By April 22, at least six families whose loved ones died after contracting the virus and one woman who recovered from COVID-19, under intense threats and harassment, were forced to abandon their efforts and ceased their contacts with the lawyers. National security police also got involved in investigating the group of lawyers and interrogated the relatives of Yang Zhanqing (杨占青), one of the founders of the Changsha Funeng NGO. Yang, who now lives in exile abroad, had been working with the lawyers.
Renee Xia, Director (Mandarin, English), +1 863 866 1012, reneexia[at]nchrd.org
Frances Eve, Deputy Director of Research (English), +1 661 240 9177, franceseve[at]nchrd.org
Leo Lan, Research & Advocacy Consultant (Mandarin, Cantonese, English), +852 9623 3023, leolan[at]nchrd.org