Imprisoned Chinese Journalist in Dangerous Condition, Reports Say

Imprisoned Chinese Journalist in Dangerous Condition, Reports Say

( – The Chinese government has done its best to throttle the release of any information regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the early days of its spread. That includes imprisoning whistleblowers. Recent news reports indicate one of those whistleblowers, a Chinese citizen-journalist who shed light on the coronavirus’ impact in Wuhan, is in a dangerous condition.

Chinese officials arrested former attorney and blogger Zhang Zhan in May 2020, after she published a series of videos she took showing Wuhan during the preliminary days of COVID-19’s spread. A court subsequently sentenced her to a four-year prison term in December 2020.

Zhan’s attorney and family members recently announced that the former activist faced imminent death in prison due to her months-long hunger strike. Her brother, Zhang Ju, recently tweeted about her stubborn refusal to eat.

“She may not survive… much longer,” he tweeted, adding that he hoped the world would “remember her” as she was before her imprisonment.

Officials from the United States and the European Union have condemned Zhan’s treatment at the hands of Chinese officials. The US State Department issued a statement on November 8 calling on her “immediate and unconditional release.”

Zhang Kepe, one of Zhan’s attorneys, told reporters she believes in her innocence. According to Zhan, her arrest, detention, and eventual imprisonment “were wrong.” Sadly, she felt her only recourse was to “refuse to eat.”

The Chinese government has not indicated any plans to release the journalist.

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