Chinese citizen journalist faces jail for Wuhan reporting

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Zhang Zhan, a 37-year-old former lawyer, has been held in detention since she was arrested in May.

Chinese citizen journalist faces jail for Wuhan reporting

She is accused of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” – a charge often used against activists in China.

Ms Zhang is not the first citizen journalist who has run into trouble for reporting on the then virus-hit Wuhan.

At least three disappeared in February. One, Li Zehua, reappeared in April saying he had been “quarantining”.

It later emerged the second, Chen Qiushi, had been placed under government supervision, while the whereabouts of the third journalist, Fang Bin, is still unknown.

Chinese authorities are known to clamp down on activists who speak out.

Hunger strike

According to an indictment sheet which has now emerged, Ms Zhang made her way to Wuhan in February, where she reported on numerous stories. According to NGO the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), her reports included the detention of other independent journalists and the harassment of families of victims who were seeking accountability.

But on 14 May she went missing from Wuhan, says CHRD. A day later, it was revealed she had been detained by police in Shanghai, more than 400 miles (640km) away.

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On 19 June, she was formally arrested in Shanghai. Almost three months later, on 9 September, her lawyer was a granted a meeting with her.

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Source : Global Times | Photocredit : Google

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