Zhang Zhan faces five years in prison for filming Wuhan in the midst of an epidemic

Zhang Zhan, a citizen journalist and former lawyer, broadcast footage in February from Wuhan and criticized the handling of the health crisis. Accused of causing trouble, she is awaiting judgment.

Journalist Zhang Zhan, arrested in May in Shanghai after streaming images during a report in Wuhan in the midst of an epidemic, has been presented to judicial authorities and could face trial next month. She risks several years in prison, announced one of his relatives to South China Morning Post.

According to this source, the citizen journalist and former lawyer, aged 37, faces four to five years in prison, being accused of having “Sought quarrel and caused trouble, un charge regularly used against opponents in China ”. Held in a Shanghai detention center, the young woman initially demanded, while leading a hunger strike, to be released, but she was force-fed, the newspaper added.

Streaming images on social networks

Zhang Zhan visited Wuhan, then the epicenter of the Covid-19 epidemic, in February, and broadcast live footage to Chinese and foreign social media platforms, including Twitter. and YouTube, which are banned in China. She had also written an article criticizing the authorities’ response to the epidemic but also censorship. Below is a video shot in the streets of Wuhan in April 2020.

Video of V2JFN4_Khjg

According to documents reviewed by the Hong Kong daily, the prosecutor of the Pudong court in Shanghai recommended the maximum sentence, citing recidivism, because she allegedly committed similar offenses in 2018 and 2019. “She is now accused of fabricating fake news and agreeing to give interviews to foreign media”, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Three other citizen journalists, Li Zehua, Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin, were arrested in Wuhan. Li reappeared on social media in April, Chen is under house arrest in Qingdao, Shandong, but the fate of the third is unknown.

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