Chinese authorities have arrested a Law Professor who published essays strongly criticising President Xi Jinping over the Coronavirus pandemic and accusing him of ruling “tyrannically”, according to his friends and colleagues.
Xu Zhangrun, a rare outspoken critic of the government in China’s heavily censored academia, was taken from his home in suburban Beijing on Monday morning by more than 20 policemen.
According to a text message circulated among Mr. Xu’s friends, police also searched his house and confiscated his computer.
Mr. Xu published an essay, titled “Viral Alarm – When Fury Overcomes Fear”, in February.
In it he is blaming the culture of deception and censorship fostered by President Xi for the spread of the Coronavirus in China, where the outbreak was first reported in December last year before spreading globally.
He wrote, the cause of all of these lies, ultimately, is the axle – a reference to President Xi – and the cabal that surrounds him.
The essay appeared on overseas websites.
He said the chaos in the virus epicenter of Hubei province reflected systemic problems in the Chinese state.