Chinese Journalist Zhang Zhan gets 4 years in jail for live COVID broadcast

CHINESE  journalist Zhang Zhan has been sent to jail for four years for her live broadcast from Wuhan when the COVID-19 outbreak broke out

The 37-year-old journalist, who appeared at the trial in a wheelchair, was found guilty by Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court on Monday, December 28, of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

Zhan, who is also a former lawyer, “was in poor health” when she was sentenced at a brief hearing in the Shanghai court as she has been on a hunger strike for several months.

“She did not immediately say if she would appeal ”  her lawyer Zhang Keke said.

Zhan was one of the few citizen journalists in China to report on the early experiences of people in Wuhan during the city’s lockdown with her live reports and essays of the chaotic initial stages of the outbreak being widely shared on social media platforms in February 2020.

The citizen journalist wrote in one February essay that the government “didn’t give people enough information, then simply locked down the city”.

“This is a great violation of human rights,” she wrote.

She now starts her sentence and is expected to have to serve the full term although many in China expect her to die in jail.

Max Zang from Dalian, told Global247news this morning: ” I think she will die a martyr in jail, the sentence is clearly wrong and she is a person of strong mind and principal, she has millions of supporters on Wechat here”  Global247News Twitter

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