Scientist Responsible For Genetically Modifying Babies Under 'House Arrest'
He Jiankui stunned the world by announcing he genetically-edited babies
He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who stunned the world by declaring he created the first genetically-edited babies, is now being kept in a mall university guest house, allegedly under lock and key while " unidentified men," according to the New York Times.
Jiankui recently went missing but was last spotted in public in late November 'defending his actions' at a conference in Hong Kong.
But rumors and speculation have surfaced as to whether Jiankui is now under house arrest.
There have been no comments from the Chinese government or his university, which recently placed him under investigation.
He now seemingly lives on the fourth-floor apartment in a university guesthouse located in the campus of the Southern University of Science and Technology.
Jiankui caused outrage in November after he claimed that he used genetically edited embryos, which were implanted in a woman, to give birth to twin girls.
A local newspaper reported that he had been placed under house arrest, which inspired speculation to his whereabouts.
But the University claimed that this was not the case, stating: "Right now nobody’s information is accurate, only the official channels are."
Zero Hedge reports: Chinese scientists said that the project focused too much on scientific achievement and not enough on ethical standards.
This past Wednesday, the doctor was seen on the balcony of his guest house, pacing back-and-forth.
He could also be seen at one point talking to a woman who seemed to be his wife.
It was noted that balconies attached to his apartment were fenced off by metal wiring.
That same evening, four plainclothes guards stood outside of his apartment, and when prompted, one said: “How did you know that Professor He is here?”
The men didn’t identify who they were so it’s not clear if they’re with the government or university. My bet is police/psb/mss. We were then followed around the university by its security. Guards are also posted permanently at his former office, which is blocked by a red belt. pic.twitter.com/OFYn7mTc8d— Paul Mozur (@paulmozur) December 29, 2018
When we visited the Southern University of Science and Technology was hosting a conference and visiting experts were checking in unaware Dr. He was being held a few floors above. At least 12 plainclothes guards live on the floor with him and prevented us from getting close. pic.twitter.com/EgqPrH99dg— Paul Mozur (@paulmozur) December 29, 2018
It wasn’t clear whether the guards were from the University, the government, the police or some other organization.
Police in Shenzhen did not respond to the New York Times' request for comment.
When we visited the Southern University of Science and Technology was hosting a conference and attending experts were checking in unaware Dr. He was being held a few floors above.
At least 12 plainclothes guards lived on the floor with him and prevented us from getting close.
A colleague who helped co-found He's a gene-testing company, Liu Chaoyu, confirmed his identity after seeing him on video.
The media in China has been surprisingly quiet about Dr. He's situation after he published his findings a months ago, proposing a censorship order had come from the very top.
He was located watching television on Thursday and guards were observed on the floor of his apartment on Friday.
There were also guards placed in the hallway leading to his former offices at the school's biology department.
In late December, the University published a notice to his staff telling employees they were prohibited from taking interviews about anything regarding the genetically edited babies.
The notice, dated November 29, stated: “Do not discuss the contents or progress of the investigation, do not comment on the matter.”
Dr. He's colleagues didn’t seem to know that he was working on genetically edited babies. Dr. He was reported to have said "There will be big news," while smiling, leading up to the conference where he made his announcement.
His business partners have had to deal with the aftershock of his decisions.
Co-founder Liu stated: "He was extremely irresponsible to the employees, partners, and investors. He did not discuss anything with us before he made his announcement and we had to deal with all of it unexpectedly."