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Chinese journalist faces jail sentence for reporting the woes of families of COVID-19affected people


#InternationalNews @Shareit Chinesehinesehinese citizen journalist who covered Wuhan's virus outbreak is facing up to five years in jail. A 37-year-old former lawyer, Zhang Zhan, has been held in detention since she was arrested in May. 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.

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. On 19 June, she was formally arrested in Shanghai. Almost three months later, on 9 September, her lawyer was granted a meeting with her. The indictment sheet, which emerged on Monday, alleges she sent "false information through text, video and other media through [platforms like] WeChat, Twitter, and YouTube". She was also accused of accepting interviews with foreign media outlets and "maliciously spreading" information about the virus in Wuhan. A sentence of four to five years was recommended.

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