Chinese Journalist, Zhang Zhan, Jailed For Four Years Because Of Her Reporting on Corona Virus In Wuhan

Zhang Zhan, 37 years of age, who reported from Wuhan, detailing the Corona virus outbreak, has recently been sentenced to four years in prison and convicted in a Shanghai court, her lawyer claimed. Very often, the Chinese Communistic Party who controls the Chinese government targets dissidents and human rights activists through false charges and accusations and in this case for Zhan, “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

Being a former lawyer, she traveled from Shanghai to Wuhan in a distance of 400 miles to report on the outbreak and the attempts to contain this pandemic virus. She reported on it for more than three months and posted it to social media such as WeChat, Twitter, and YouTube (the second and third social media platforms are banned in China). She was stopped in the middle of May, forcibly detained back to Shanghai and was known to have been forced fed, which amounted to torture. Among that she was restrained forcibly and in detention, ended up in a wheelchair where she was physically weak and barely spoke, where the court charged her with lies of charges and accusations. They fabricated lies and had no proof of her causing harm to others.

The British Embassy was denied entry to her court hearing and she is one of the 47 journalists known to be detained by the Chinese authorities. Other journalists falsely accused and jailed include Chen Quishi, Li Zehua, and Fang Bin. Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a Hong Kong-based group stated earlier in a report this year, “Under the guise of fighting the novel coronavirus, authorities in China have escalated suppression online by blocking independent reporting, information sharing, and critical comments on government responses.” 

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), China is the country who jails the most journalists and also tightly controls the media and press in their own country while blocking most foreign media outlets in relation to their Great Firewall—an apparatus of state controlled and censored media and propaganda along with mass online censorship. China also expelled journalists from American media outlets such as New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal—their reasoning was of how US was restricting their Chinese media operations in the USA.

Restrictions and censorship on press has not been lifted in China and it only panders to its own views of the pandemic, not allowing truth or an alternative opinion from its own citizens—they have even made false claims that the virus came from outside of the country before Wuhan was hit.



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