“You are guilty as I said”, this is not the rule of law, and this is the rule of the CCP.
A piece pandemic prevention news in Jilin Tonghua City has shocked everyone.
The Jilin Provincial Prosecutor’s Office released the news that the outbreak in Tonghua City was caused by Mr. X, the operator of “Yuan Sheng Quality Life Workshop”, hiring a Mr Y from Heilongjiang Province, who is an asymptomatic infected person with CCP virus (patient zero of the outbreak in Tonghua City) when he sold and promoted his products. Tonghua City charged the case for crime of obstructing the control of infectious diseases. The Public Prosecutor’s Office intervened early and guided the investigation of the case.
This is supposed to be the first case in the world to hold Patient Zero criminally responsible, which has led to a huge controversy.
Social dispute: Isn’t Patient Zero also a victim of the pandemic?
If a person knows he is infected and intentionally runs around to spread the virus, he can be punished. However, if one is not aware of the disease (the news is clear that the patient is asymptomatic) and travels to work for a living, he has “no criminal intent” and cannot be objectively convicted because one is a “patient zero”.
Legal dispute: The legal basis for filing the case
The purported legal basis comes from the opinions of the People’s Supreme Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice titled ‘the Strong State on Punishing Illegal Crimes that Obstruct the Prevention and Control of the New Coronavirus Infected Pneumonia Epidemic’.
According to this opinion piece, those who endanger public safety by one of the following circumstances shall be convicted and punished for the crime of endangering public safety by dangerous means.
1) Patient who has been diagnosed with coronavirus infection or is a carrier of the pathogen, who refuse isolation treatment, or who enter public places or public transport before completing his/her isolation period or treatment
2) People who are suspected to have coronavirus infection or related pneumonia, who refuse to be isolated or treated, who enter public places or public transport before completing his/her isolation period or treatment resulting in the spread of the Coronavirus.
3) People who refuse to implement preventive and control measures proposed by the Public Health epidemic prevention agencies in accordance with the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Law, which subsequently cause the spread of Coronavirus. In accordance with the provisions of Article 330 of the Criminal Law, “the crime of obstructing the prevention and control of communicable diseases shall be convicted and punished.”
According to the above law and judicial interpretations, if the person refuses to execute the epidemic prevention order and causes an epidemic, it can constitute a crime of obstructing the treatment of infectious diseases. If the person concerned is already suspected or diagnosed and continues to go out in violation of the regulations, he or she is guilty of violating the regulations related to the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
In other words, to be prosecuted for the crime, it depends on if the patient has intentionally caused it, in addition to causing the result. The crime can only be committed if the person knowingly violates the rules when he or she is suspected of having a disease (such as having a fever and other characteristics of the disease), or as been diagnosed but deliberately concealed. If the person does not know that he or she has a condition or suspicion of illness, it should not constitute a crime.
In this case, Mr Y is an asymptomatic infected person. He does not know that he is infected.
“You are guilty as I said”, this is not the rule of law, and this is the rule of the CCP. Specifically, it is a ‘law’ of CCP officials who clearly have abused their power.
As of this writing, there are no further reports on this case. I will continue to follow the progress of this case.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of GNEWS.org.