On the second last day of last year, Dr Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital in China, used a social messaging app to warn a group of his medical school classmates about the coronavirus outbreak (though at that time, it was still a mysterious infection).
The local police responded quickly. They tried to intimidate and muzzle Dr Li. They accused him of scaremongering and made him sign a statement to declare that his action constituted "illegal behaviour".
We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs.