Influential Chinese dissident Xu Zhangrun was released after being arrested after criticizing President Xi Jinping and his management of the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Times newspaper said.
The Tsinghua University professor was able to return home after a week in prison, although the Beijing police have not yet confirmed Xu’s release.
According to several activists, the Chinese dissident was arrested after publishing several articles criticizing Beijing. Xu’s texts came to light in February and, according to the government, are “provocative” and accuse the authorities of “watching happily” while “missing a fundamental opportunity to contain the virus”.
For the activist, the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the “lazy heart of the Chinese government” and the “emptiness of the disruptive state that has never been seen before”.