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Chinese lawyer critical of gov’t over coronavirus missing in Wuhan, family says

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Chinese lawyer critical of gov't over coronavirus missing in Wuhan, family says

A Chinese lawyer who had been documenting the coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan has not been seen or heard from since last week, and friends and family say they fear he may have been forcibly quarantined by the Chinese government.

The lawyer, Chen Qiushi, 34, made a series of social media posts about the outbreak in Wuhan , the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, starting on Jan. 25, several days after the city was locked down by the Chinese government to help stop the spread of the virus, which has killed over 1,000 people in China .

Calling himself a "citizen journalist," Chen posted videos and messages reporting hardships faced by Wuhan residents seeking medical help and supplies, as well as hospital overcrowding.

In one tweet last week, Chen said he had collected evidence that medical, first aid and funeral services in Wuhan have been "overloaded."

In his often emotional posts, Chen heavily criticized Chinese authorities, accusing them of inefficiency and restrictions on freedom of speech.

His last update came on Thursday. He has not been seen or heard from since, his friends and family say.

A friend of Chen’s, martial artist Xu Xiaodong, has been vocal about his disappearance and said in a recent tweet that Chen was "taken away to quarantine by force." He also questioned why Chen has apparently not been able to use his personal phone and whether he will be released after the quarantine is over.NBC News tried reaching out to Xu via email and social media, […]

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