Wuhan's locals accuse government of threatening them for filing COVID lawsuits

WION Web Team Beijing, China Sep 17, 2020, 12.08 PM(IST)

A woman wearing a protective facemask to help stop the spread of a deadly virus which began in the city, walks on a street in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on January 25, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Even the lawyers are being warned against helping locals in suing the government. Some lawyers are now secretly helping locals get justice.

Wuhan resident, who lost her son and relatives to coronavirus, wanted to sue the local government for their careless approach towards this deadly virus. However, her lawsuits have been suddenly rejected.

"They say the epidemic was a natural calamity. But these serious outcomes are man-made, and you need to find who's to blame," said Zhong Hanneng, 67.

"Our family is shattered. I can never be happy again."

Also read: Chinese virologist claims COVID-19 was made in Wuhan lab; offers scientific proof

Dozens of people who followed her path and wanted to sue the local government have been facing pressure from the Wuhan government to drop their lawsuits.

Even the lawyers are being warned against helping locals in suing the government. Some lawyers are now secretly helping locals get justice.

As of now, almost five cases have been filed in the Wuhan Intermediate Court alleging the government of hiding the truth behind the novel coronavirus.

Plaintiffs are each seeking around two million yuan ($295,000) in damages and a public apology. However, the lawsuits have been declined by the court on unspecified procedural grounds. These rejections do not have any written trail as the locals were informed via phone calls, and not written notices.

Zhang Hai who lost his father to the virus has alleged the local authorities of threatening and dismantling the support groups of the people who want to take an action against the government after having lost their family members. "They know if I succeed in filing a case, many other families will sue, too," he said.

The lawsuits allege the governments of the Wuhan and Hubei province of concealing the facts, not alerting the world and not admitting that the virus is lab-made.

These accusations are also being made by a Chinese virologist who has offered scientific proof behind the accusation of COVID-19 being Wuhan lab-made.