Fang Fang’s daily accounts of her experiences in Wuhan during the outbreak of the Corona pandemic has exposed the propaganda of the Communist regime in China. Her dairy has been ‘forbidden’ in China where censorship is a norm.
A Wuhan based author who has also won a Chinese literary award now faces death threats over her online dairy dubbed as the ‘Forbidden Dairy’ which exposed China’s inept handling of Corona pandemic and has killed lakhs all over the world. The author Wang Fang, 64, who uses the pen name Fang Fang, had authored 60 posts on the conditions in Wuhan leading to the lockdown and deaths over Corona infections and shared it on her social media account on Weibo.
Fang Fang’s posts which reached millions on social media in China, provided a glimpse into the situation in Wuhan, which is the epicentre of Coronavirus pandemic. Her account of the situation in Wuhan was completely different from the official Chinese government narrative. It is now well known that many doctors, healthcare workers, journalists and other whistle-blowers who exposed China’s propaganda over handling of Corona or were critical of it, have either disappeared or found dead. People now worry if Fang Fang could meet the same fate as other whistle-blowers.
Fang Fang in her posts describes the grim scene inside a local crematorium, a photo she had received from a doctor friend which showed the floor of the crematorium scattered with ‘ownerless mobile phones’ which once belonged to those who had been incinerated. Most of her posts about the Corona situation in Wuhan is from January and February, and her last post was on March 24 after which the account was blocked.
In another post in early February, Fang Fang described Wuhan as a ‘catastrophe’ and wrote those city hospitals would use up ‘one booklet of death certificates every few days’ and the vans from crematoriums would each carry several corpses stuffed into body bags. This raises doubts about the number of deaths officially reported by the Chinese government.
Fang Fang also wrote about how Wuhan’s hospitals were overcrowded and were turning away patients. She reported about shortages of masks, health equipment and unrecorded deaths of relatives and friends. In one of her posts, she mentioned a doctor friend saying that the Chinese health authorities did not take any action despite their report on the human-to-human transmission of Coronavirus in early December.
Fang Fang gagged and Threatened
However, Fang Fang, whose diary exposed China’s propaganda as false, has been receiving death threats and is being abused by other Chinese netizens for ‘incriminating the country’. Her posts were automatically deleted before being blocked. She narrated her horrid experience to a Chinese media outlet Caijing in early April.
In her interview, Fang Fang says that she now fears for the safety of her family too after receiving the threats. She informed that angry users on Weibo spread canards about her and even exposed the address of her house. She told of one angry reader of her post sent a death threat in the form of a huge poster posted on the street in Wuhan. The poster accused her of ‘seriously hurting and incriminating the country’ and demanded that she become a nun or kill herself, else the user himself would use ancient Chinese way to attack and kill her.
Many Chinese users have even accused her of being a ‘hanjian’, a racist, derogatory term used for a traitor of the Han Chinese. Incidentally, Fang Fang is the recipient of China’s most prestigious literary prize in 2010.
Subsequently, the interview and report of Fang Fang in Caijing was also taken down soon after it was published in April. However, sites run by Chinese who live in other parts of the world have re-posted the Caijing report, which is available even now.
Publication of ‘Forbidden Dairy’ blocked
Fang Fang’s diary was once very popular in China among the web users who praised her for speaking out for the people in Wuhan who were suffering during the epidemic. Publishers in China, too were interested in compiling her posts into a book. However, after some of her posts exposed the Chinese propaganda, publishers in China have backed off or forced not to publish Fang Fang’s diary.
After the Chinese publishers backed off, publishers from England and Germany came forward to translate her posts into a book. The German version is called ‘Wuhan Diary: The forbidden diary from the city where the corona crisis began‘ and the English version is titled ‘Dispatches from a quarantined city: Wuhan Diary‘. The English version of the book is to go on sale on June 30.