Chau Pui-yi, a lecturer in the Department of Social Work at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was dismissed for posting criticism of China’s political system and for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. CCS wrote the University President requesting he review the case and reinstate the lecturer.
April 3, 2020
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
#5 Jianguomennei Street
Beijing, 100732, P.R. China
Tel: 86-10-85195999 (CASS) 86-10-85886173(CSSN)
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our concern over the treatment of Chau Pui-yi, a lecturer in the Department of Social Work, who was dismissed from her position on February 7, for posting criticism of China’s political system and its handling of the coronavirus outbreak on social media. The post in question, labeled by a student as “inappropriate speech,” was apparently made on a non-public platform called WeChat Moments.
Academic freedom requires authorities in academia to respect the rights of their faculty, staff, and students to freely express their views, particularly on such important topics. We urge you to immediately reinstate Ms. Chau to her position and refrain in the future from interfering with the rights of your faculty, staff, or students, to express their views in a peaceful and responsible manner – as Ms. Chau clearly did.
Thank you for your attention to this most important matter, and we look forward to hearing from you specifying your decision to correct this injustice.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Ambassador Cui Tiankai
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place NW
Washington DC 20008
Phone: 1 202 495 2266
Fax: 1 202 495 2138
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