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Chinese Citizen Journalist to Face Court for Reporting Wuhan’s Covid-19 Situation

Mark Andrew

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  • Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, who has been arrested by authorities in May, is set to face trial in Shanghai this month.
  • The former lawyer used social media to expose the government’s poor response to the Covid-19 crisis in Wuhan.
  • She’s now suffering from poor health conditions after going on a hunger strike since June .

She’s a former lawyer who has attracted attention online after reporting about the coronavirus situation in Wuhan, the pandemic’s initial epicenter. She livestreamed from the city and often openly criticized the government’s response to the virus.

Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan has since been arrested in May after being accused of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Now she has been scheduled to face the court in Shanghai before the year ends.

Zhang Zhan, 37, is set to appear in a Shanghai court this December 28.

Back in February, Zhang posted an article on Twitter, writing:

“The government isolates individuals from the outside world in the name of treatment. In the name of maintaining stability, the number of infections and deaths is covered up. The media is kept under control in the name of ‘positive energy.’

“[The authorities] are coercively and violently ordering and depriving people of their basic human and property rights.”

Aside from 37-year-old Zhang, other citizen journalists have been detained for reporting from Wuhan namely Chen Quishi, Fang Bin, and Li Zehua, reports said.

According to her lawyers, Zhang started to go on a hunger strike in June and is now being force-fed through a nasal tube. Public clamor for her release has went unheard.

“Restrained 24 hours a day, she needs assistance going to the bathroom,” shared lawyer Zhang Keke. “She feels psychologically exhausted, like everyday is a torment… She said her current physical state is too hard to bear.”

Watch this video to learn more about Zhang Zhan’s case:

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