The European Union has demanded that China “immediate” release of citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, a former lawyer sentenced to four years in prison for publishing information that would relieve the chaos experienced in the city of Wuhan after detecting the coronavirus outbreak that would later spread to the whole world.
The office of the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has expressed in a note its “great concern” about “restrictions” that affect basic rights such as freedom of expression and information and that involve “intimidation or surveillance” of journalists and activists or, in the worst case, convictions.
This has been the case of Zhang Dhan, sentenced on Monday to four years in prison by a Shanghai court, after the authorities understood that the information she had released about the early stages of the pandemic could endanger social stability.
The EU has warned that “credible sources” further suggest that Zhang may have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment during detention and that “his state of health has seriously deteriorated.” “It is crucial that he receives adequate medical assistance,” Borrell’s office has stressed.
In this regard, it has requested the “immediate” release of both Zhang and other activists and human rights defenders who may have been detained in recent months, as well as persons accused of reporting activities in the “public interest “.
The EU has asked that lThe release is also extended to other Human Rights defenders, entre los cuales ha aludido concretamente a Yu Wensheng, Li Yuhan, Huang Qi, Ge Jueping, Qin Yongmin, Gao Zhisheng, Ilham Tohti, Tashi Wangchuk, Wu Gan y Liu Feiyue.