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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 12.10 AM IST

Chinese citizen journalist who reported on harassment of COVID-19 victims' families in Wuhan faces jail

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WUHAN: A Chinese citizen journalist, who reported on the woes of families of COVID-19-affected people in Wuhan, is facing jail in China. The 37-year-old former lawyer, Zhang Zhan, has been held in detention since May. She has been accused of 'provoking trouble', a charge often used to counter activists in China.

Zhang is not the first to be held for reporting on Wuhan, which was the epicentre of coronavirus earlier this year. Besides her, at least three others- Li Zehua, Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin had disappeared during the months gone by.

While Zehua appeared in April and claimed that she has been quarantined, Qiushi was placed under government supervision. According to reports, Bin continues to remain missing.

Zhang also supported Hong Kong, was detained in 2019 as well.


According to Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), an NGO working towards human rights in China, Zhang 'reported numerous stories including the detentions of other independent reporters and harassment of families of victims seeking accountability from the epicentre via her WeChat, Twitter and YouTube accounts'.

"She had initially gone missing on May 14 in Wuhan. On June 19, 2020, Pudong New District Procuratorate approved the formal arrest of Zhang. She is being held at Pudong New District Detention Center in Shanghai. Zhang Zhan had travelled to Wuhan, the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, in early February," CHRD said on its website.

According to CHRD, Zhang Zhan had started a hunger strike on September 2 and detention centre authorities had begun to forcibly feed her. Even earlier, she had spoken out in support of Hong Kong protests and was detained in September 2019 for supporting Hong Kong.

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TAGS: CHINESE JOURNALIST, COVID-19 VICTIMS, ZHANG ZHAN, LI ZEHUA, CHEN QIUSHI, CHINESE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS, WECHAT, TWITTER, YOUTUBE, SHANGHAI
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