China: Journalist jailed for reporting COVID-19 in Wuhan

On Monday, a Chinese court jailed citizen-journalist Zhang Zhan for four years for reporting early COVID-19 cases in Wuhan.

Reuters reported that Zhang Zhan, 37, has been jailed for four years in China. The journalist reported the early cases of COVID-19 outbreaks from Wuhan’s central city at the end of 2019.

Zhan’s lawyer mentioned that the court gave reasons for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” regarding her jail term.

Wuhan: The source of COVID-19 cases

Talking about the pandemic’s epicenter, then it was due to several reporters like Zhang that the world got to know about the virus. She was among those who first spread the information about rising Coronavirus cases in the city of Wuhan.

She covered many crowded hospitals last year and many empty streets after the virus infections grew stronger. Her YouTube videos showing interviews with residents, footage from the crematorium, and train stations revealed the actual reality earlier this year.

Following the court’s judgment, the citizen-journalist’s mother said:

“I don’t understand. All she did was say a few true words, and for that, she got four years.”

She was also present during the trial of her daughter on Monday.

Talking to Reuters, the reporter’s lawyer Ren Quanniu said that they would appeal against this higher court judgment.

“Ms. Zhang believes she is being persecuted for exercising her freedom of speech.”

The journalist has been a former lawyer herself.

Well, the situation from the side of authorities also seems doubtful. Because the court, on Monday, denied entry to many other reporters. The officials gave the reasons for the pandemic. People worldwide have constantly raised objections and accusations over China and its government in the last one year.

All this means one thing for sure that there’s still more than what meets the eye.

Is China trying to suppress the truth of the virus?

Looking at how President Xi Jinping and his people are handling everything about Wuhan, doubts always seem inevitable.

Like in Zhang’s current case, many other reporters and people involved in the cases revealed that China tried to suppress freedom of expression. Especially in the case of media persons, it can be evidently seen in the last year.

Coming back to the Wuhan scenario, it seems like the dust has still not settled down there. Time and again, several new revelations about the “virus epicenter” keep surprising the people across the globe. On the other hand, other affected countries have also clearly raised this issue regarding COVID-19 and its China connection.


Image courtesy of South China Morning Post/YouTube Screenshot

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