On Monday, a Chinese court sentenced a lawyer-turned-citizen-journalist who traveled to Wuhan to report on COVID-19. Authorities first detained her in May after her livestream reporting in Wuhan. The government charged her with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” for her reporting.
A Chinese court sentenced the journalist, 37-year-old Zhang Zhan, to four years in jail, her lawyer Zhang Keke told reporters outside the courtroom.
Zhang reportedly began a hunger strike in June, but she has been force-fed via a nasal tube.
“She said when I visited her (last week): ‘If they give me a heavy sentence then I will refuse food until the very end.’… She thinks she will die in prison,” Ren Quanniu, one of Zhang’s defense lawyers, told Agence France Press (AFP). “It’s an extreme method of protesting against this society and this environment.”
China jails citizen journalist Zhang Zhan for 4 years for reporting on the virus in Wuhan. She has been on a hunger strike since June and is reportedly force-fed via a nasal tube.
China has punished 8 virus whistleblowers so far.
📸Her lawyer Zhang Keke talks to the press pic.twitter.com/3SKLCMXeP9
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) December 28, 2020