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China. The journalist who described the COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan is on the verge of death

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Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, who described the COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan, has been imprisoned since May 2020 and was sentenced to four years in prison in December. After being sent to a prison, she went on a hunger strike. She is on the verge of death, alarms her family and Amnesty International.

“Zhang is 177 cm tall, currently weighs less than 40 kg. She may not survive the cold winter ahead (…) I hope the world remembers her,” wrote journalist Zhang Ju’s brother on Twitter. An imprisoned woman may die if she is not released and treated immediately, reports Amnesty International.

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The human rights organization recalls that Zhang began a hunger strike in July 2020 to protest against his imprisonment. She was restrained and force-fed. As punishment for undertaking a hunger strike, Zhang was chained around the clock for more than three months.

At the end of July 2021, the journalist was admitted to the hospital due to extreme malnutrition, but returned to prison, where she continued partial fasting despite the serious threat to her own health – reports AI. Zhang’s health has deteriorated rapidly since then. Since the trial in December 2020, the woman is not allowed to see lawyers or family, and from time to time she can only talk to relatives by phone or video chat, but such calls are controlled.

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Zhang wrote about the COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan. Sentenced to four years in prison

Zhang, a former lawyer from Shanghai, traveled to Wuhan in February 2020 and reported live there on social media, including Twitter and YouTube, which are blocked in China. She also wrote an article critical of the authorities in which she questioned the accuracy of official information about the scale of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The first cases of the coronavirus were detected in the Chinese city of WuhanReuters Archive

The Shanghai police detained Zhang in mid-May 202 on charges of “starting an argument and causing trouble.” At the end of December 2020, she was sentenced to four years in prison. The communist authorities of the PRC often make this accusation against dissidents and civic activists to silence the voices of criticism.

“Zhang Zhan is a victim of the Chinese government’s zero tolerance for criticism and opposition views. She has been imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising her right to speech and must be immediately and unconditionally released … pending her dismissal, must have unrestricted access to her family and lawyers. (…) If Zhang Zhan dies in prison, the Chinese government will have her blood on its hands “- emphasized Gwan Lee, who deals with AI China.

Wuhan wet market. Wild animals such as bats are sold here, among othersShutterstock

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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