According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), Wu Yanan, a philosophy lecturer at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, was taken by authorities under false pretenses and confined in a psychiatric institution for supporting anti-lockdown protestors.
The officials reportedly claimed that they were taking Wu to get a COVID-19 test. However, RFA reports, she had on social media “accused the university authorities of betraying the ideals of its founder Zhang Boling by clamping down on the widespread protests” by students against strict, government-imposed lockdowns. RFA reports:
Wang Qiang, a person familiar with the incident, said Wu had been a vocal supporter of the “white paper” protests. “There were some spontaneous memorials activities and blank paper protests on our university campus after the Urumqi fire [a fatal lockdown fire in Xinjiang’s regional capital Urumqi whose victimes were unable to escape the blaze because they had been locked into their own apartment building] and students who took part were hauled in to ‘drink tea’,” a euphemism for being questioned by the authorities, Wang said. “Wu Yanan spoke up for the students [on social media], and the school authorities asked her to delete her posts, but she wouldn’t,” Wang said.
Then, last week:
Wu was taken away in a van by officials who claimed she needed to take a COVID-19 test, but instead took her to Tianjin Sheng’an psychiatric facility. Wu posted the name of the hospital to social media, along with photos of her hiding in a hospital toilet and calling on her students to rescue her. Wu said she was hiding in the toilet from a bunch of people who were planning to tie her up and forcibly administer medication to her, the students said.
A couple of days later, posts appeared on Wu’s social media, saying she had been mentally ill, but there is skepticism that she wrote them, or wrote them freely:
A recent post under Wu’s account to WeChat Moments said “I admit I was under the influence of mental illness a few days ago, when I was suffering from delusions, auditory hallucinations and talking gibberish.”… Wang said the posts were highly unlikely to be genuine, and that Wu has likely been “mentally illed,” a slang expression for the use of forcible psychiatric treatment to suppress critics of the authorities.
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