Chinese protester He Fangmei, whose daughter grew sick after receiving faulty vaccines, has been missing since her October 9 arrest for splashing ink on a government building in protest, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported this week.
Human rights activists have expressed concerns for her safety after her disappearance.
In March 2018, He’s daughter, Li Qi, “became paralyzed and was diagnosed with a neurological disease after receiving vaccinations for hepatitis A, measles, and other illnesses,” according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD). Testing ultimately determined that defective vaccines were responsible for her daughter’s disability.
Li’s misfortune is not an isolated incident. The issue of fake or otherwise defective vaccines reportedly affecting hundreds of thousands of doses on the Chinese market forced Chinese dictator Xi Jinping to order an investigation in August 2018 resulting in the arrests of many high-profile biotechnology executives, including Chensheng chairwoman Gao Junfang. Chengsheng was one of China’s largest vaccine manufacturers at the time.
Following the arrests, an investigation into Chengsheng’s sale of defective vaccines revealed the company sold roughly half a million faulty doses alone, with similar sales by other companies bringing the total figure in China to over 1 million. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has struggled to address the scandal and public opinion has remained decisively negative. In early 2019, months after the scandal broke, a viral video showed an angry mob assaulting a health official in Jiangsu province.
Since her daughter’s incapacitation, He has vigorously campaigned for restitution from the Chinese authorities, accumulating an extensive arrest record in the process. Though she successfully sued the Hui county Center for Disease Control and Prevention over the issue, she faced continual harassment from local authorities and was unable to get her daughter treatment in Beijing, RFA reported.