A Chinese citizen whose father died from COVID-19 in a Wuhan hospital is demanding to meet a visiting World Health Organization (WHO) expert team, claiming that he and others like him have been gagged by the Chinese government.
Zhang Hai, whose father died of COVID-19 in February last year after getting infected in Wuhan, China, said the WHO experts should not become a tool for spreading lies.
He argued that China has been downplaying the virus and tried to silence him by dismissing lawsuits, interrogating him and threatening the jobs of relatives of those who speak to the foreign media.
"This was a criminal act, and I don't want the WHO coming to China to cover up these crimes." Zhang said.
Zhang is not alone in the fight against the Chinese government. He has been organizing with relatives of coronavirus victims in China to demand accountability from officials.
However, Zhang claims that the bereaved relatives' chat groups were suddenly shut down by the Chinese government shortly after the WHO team's arrival in Wuhan, which he believes is in an effort to prevent them from speaking to WHO experts.
China recently approved the visit by WHO researchers only after months of negotiations. The WHO team arrived in Wuhan on January 14 to investigate the origins of the virus.
China's Foreign Ministry has not responded to a request for comment.