China Sentences Journalist Who Covered Pandemic To Jail | Digital Trends Spanish
Since the start of the pandemic, China has received strong criticism from the international community for the way it has managed the health crisis.
The Asian giant is claimed that it could have done more at the beginning of the emergency, thus preventing the rapid spread of the new coronavirus.
In addition to this, criticism has been directed at the series of restrictive measures that seek to prevent reporting on the management of the authorities in the midst of the pandemic.
An example of the above, perhaps extreme, is the sentence received by journalist Zhang Zhan, who will have to spend four years in prison just for covering the pandemic in China.
The communicator was found guilty of “seeking a fight and creating problems”, a crime that is commonly used by the authorities to imprison someone from the dissident bloc.
Who is Zhang Zhan?
The 37-year-old reporter is not associated with a traditional media, but rather worked as a citizen journalist reporting through social media.
Zhang was one of the first journalists to narrate what happened with the first cases of infections reported in Wuhan, the city she went to in February.
In that city, he also recounted the harassment of the victims’ families who requested an investigation, as well as the arrests of other independent reporters.
Zhang was arrested in Shanghai in May and had been in pre-trial detention ever since. In September, she was formally charged, although charges were not filed until November.
The official document accused her of distributing “false information through texts, videos and other means through social networks such as Wechat, Twitter or YouTube” and of accepting interviews from foreign media Radio Free Asia and the newspaper Epoch Times (Property of the Falun Gong religious organization, banned in your country).
Zhang faced a sentence of five years, but will have to serve four. She has repeatedly denied the accusations and has pleaded not guilty.
In her immediate environment there is concern about the state of her health, since the citizen journalist began a hunger strike since September to demand her release.
His defense attorney Zhang Keke, who was present at the court proceedings, commented: “The prosecutor has only read out the list of evidence, without showing part of it, including the most important. Zhang Zhan stated that the expression of citizens should not be censored. But beyond that, he basically didn’t say a word, “he said.
Several people gathered outside the Pudong New Area People’s Court to demand his release, but all the protesters were dispersed by the police.
Meanwhile, Zhang Zhan came in a wheelchair in his opinion, which shows the physical deterioration that this situation has caused him.