Chinese Journalist Who Reported On COVID-19 Outbreak Faces Imprisonment

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Chinese Journalist Who Reported On COVID-19 Outbreak Faces Imprisonment

Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan has been accused of “causing altercations and problems” for reporting on the outbreak of the new coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, in central China, and could face up to five years in prison.

As the human rights organization Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reported on Tuesday, a Shanghai city court will try Zhang for information published on social media about the spread of the disease in Wuhan earlier this year.

The journalist can be sentenced to between four and five years in prison.


Zhang, 37, was arrested six months ago for “provoking altercations and creating problems”, a charge often used against critics and activists in China.

CHRD reported in September that the woman had been arrested in May for broadcasting on social media such as Wechat, Twitter or YouTube that Wuhan citizens received spoiled food during the city’s 11-week confinement, or were forced to pay to perform screening tests for the new coronavirus.

Zhang also reported on the arrests of other journalists or the harassment of family members of pandemic victims who demanded that authorities be held responsible for mismanagement in the early stages of the outbreak.