Opinion | China Jails a Covid Reporter

A professional-democracy activist holds placards with the image of Chinese language citizen journalist Zhang Zhan outdoors the Chinese language central authorities’s liaison workplace in Hong Kong, Dec. 28.


Kin Cheung/Related Press

A Chinese language court docket Monday sentenced 37-year-old

Zhang Zhan

to 4 years in jail for “choosing quarrels and frightening bother,” however her actual offense was telling the reality in regards to the authorities’s early mishandling of Covid.

Ms. Zhang rushed to Wuhan in early 2020 to report on the coronavirus outbreak and the federal government’s response. She visited hospitals and crematoriums, interviewed terrified Wuhan locals, posted greater than 120 video clips on YouTube, and shared her insights with overseas media. On


she noticed that “the celebration flags and purple symbols at many neighborhood entrances all point out that epidemic-prevention isn’t essential. Defending regime stability that has been impacted by the pandemic is the precise aim.”

Ms. Zhang’s reporting got here as Beijing was making an attempt to gaslight the world into believing it had responded to the outbreak competently and transparently. She knew the dangers of contradicting the official narrative. She had reported on the disappearance of different journalists.

“Perhaps I’ve a rebellious soul . . . I’m simply documenting the reality. Why can’t I present the reality? I received’t cease what I’m doing as a result of this nation can’t go backwards,” Ms. Zhang stated in a single video clip obtained by the BBC.

In mid-Could, Ms. Zhang went lacking, and her associates realized she’d been arrested. Her legal professionals say authorities have restrained and force-fed her after she went on a starvation strike.

Zhang Keke,

her legal professional, has described how she recites passages from the Bible for consolation however “feels psychologically exhausted, like day by day is a torment.” Ms. Zhang appeared in court docket Monday in a wheelchair, her legal professionals stated.

Officers barred journalists and overseas observers from attending Ms. Zhang’s trial and sentencing. Beijing hopes the West is simply too distracted to concentrate, however Secretary of State

Mike Pompeo

condemned this “sham prosecution and conviction” on Tuesday. Western journalists who endorse Communist Celebration makes an attempt to intimidate Western critics can be taught from Ms. Zhang’s courageous instance.

Important Avenue: When a billionaire turns into a dissident, the takeover of Hong Kong is full. Picture: Apple Every day

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Appeared within the December 30, 2020, print version.

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