News Karnataka
Monday, June 17 2024
World

Wuhan Covid Reporter to Be Released from Jail

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Photo Credit : Twitter

After serving a four-year sentence for recording the early stages of COVID-19 in Wuhan, Chinese citizen journalist Zhang Zhan is almost out of jail, according to the Independent.
In February 2020, Ms. Zhan, an independent journalist and former lawyer, visited Wuhan. She recorded the Chinese government’s reaction to the spreading pandemic there.

Her reports exposed attempts by the government to censor information and stifle criticism of their handling of the crisis. These reports were shared on various platforms, including WeChat, YouTube, and the now-banned X (formerly Twitter).

“After 4 years in prison for her independent reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic, journalist Zhang Zhan is due for release on 13 May,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shared on X.

Concerns have been raised about China’s handling of information during the initial COVID-19 outbreak. Some believe this may have slowed the international response to the emerging pandemic.

Zhang Zhan was detained in May 2020 and later sentenced to four years in prison on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble.’ She has been held at the Shanghai Women’s Prison since then.

In a video posted in February 2020, Ms Zhang said Wuhan was “paralysed because everything is undercover”.

She continued: “That’s what this country is facing now … They imprison us in the name of pandemic prevention and restrict our freedom. We must not talk to strangers, it’s dangerous. So without the truth, everything is meaningless. If we cannot get to the truth, if we cannot break the monopoly of the truth, the world means nothing to us.”

One of the videos in Zhang Zhan’s online reports showed a hospital early in the pandemic that was overrun with patients. This video, which was released at a time when details regarding the virus’s spread were few, gave viewers a vital window into the Wuhan crisis.

Zhang Zhan’s condition declined dramatically while she was incarcerated. She started a protracted hunger strike, which compelled the prison administration to use forced feeding.Her attorney stated that she was flimsy and required a feeding tube. Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations have denounced her incarceration and said it was wholly unjust.

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