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Chinese Government  Issued  new anti-SARS  Info Control rules - 2003-05-15

This week, the Chinese government has issued a series of stringent rules requiring local officials to report epidemic outbreaks to Beijing immediately or face dismissal or even criminal charges. China has been widely condemned around the world for its ruinous efforts of an initial cover-up of the deadly infectious disease of SARS. However, Cai Yongmei, an editor with Hong Kong’s Open monthly, said the publication with fanfare of the new rules this week is only a charade, and the violation of people’s right to know, which has been a major cause of the runaway spread of the SARS epidemic, is to be continued. “Look at the veteran army surgeon Jiang Yanyong, who courageously revealed the cover-up in Beijing in early April,” Cai said. “Jiang is a real hero in China’s fight against SARS. And yet he has since been treated in the Chinese media as a pariah. He laid bare the official lies and misinformation, and thus committed a crime in the official eye.”