Journalist sentenced to prison in China

Courthouse in Shanghai
Image: AFP

Anyone who reports critically about the state makes themselves an enemy of the people in China. A journalist was sentenced to prison for reporting on the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

EA Chinese journalist who reported on the spread of the novel coronavirus in the metropolis of Wuhan, has been sentenced to four years in prison. The verdict against 37-year-old Zhang Zhan came at a brief trial in Shanghai, one of her lawyers said.

According to court documents viewed by the AFP news agency, the woman was accused of having “stirred up disputes and unrest” with her reports. The journalist had reported critical of the authorities’ reaction to the new virus.

Hunger strike since June

Zhang was arrested in May. According to her lawyers, her health is “extremely bad”. The journalist went on a hunger strike in June and was force-fed.

In Wuhan, the corona virus was first detected in humans at the end of last year. Within a few weeks it spread in the metropolis. Then on January 23, Wuhan was cordoned off by the authorities. In the days that followed, the measure was extended to all of Hubei Province, which is Wuhan. From China, the virus spread around the world.

In China itself, however, the virus has largely been pushed back by the rigorous isolation and quarantine measures. The country’s leadership has been hailing its fight against the virus as a great success story for months.

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