Chinese 'citizen journalist' Zhang Zhan has been sentenced to four years in prison for reporting on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan.
Photo: Getty Images
The 37-year-old began posting updates and videos about the coronavirus pandemic back in February... By May, she was arrested and accused by the Chinese government of spreading false information and 'provoking trouble'.
“I don’t understand. All she did was say a few true words, and for that she got four years,” said Shao Wenxia, Zhang’s mother, who attended the trial with her husband.
Zhang reportedly went on a long hunger strike before her sentencing, which left her 'physically fragile' but with a 'strong will'.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even condemned the move and called for Zhang to be released, as did leaders from the UK and EU.
"The rest of the world relied heavily on uncensored reports from citizen journalists like Zhang to understand the true situation in Wuhan," Pompeo said in a statement. "Her hasty trial, to which foreign observers were denied access, shows how fearful the [Chinese Communist Party] is of Chinese citizens who speak the truth."
Read the full report on The Associated Press.