digital desk,New Delhi. The intention to jail Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan after reporting on the Kovid epidemic in Wuhan is meant as a warning to others.
According to the report of The Guardian, the former lawyer of Chinese female journalist Zhan has said this.
Hundreds of Chinese human rights lawyers and citizens have named in an open letter calling for immediate medical care for Zhang Zhan, whom her family fears is near death.
The report said Zhang has been on a hunger strike for more than a year to protest his harassment for reporting on the Wuhan lockdown in early 2020.
On Thursday, he was awarded the Reporters Without Borders’ 2021 Press Freedom Award for showing courage.
As The Guardian reports, Ren Quaniu, whose legal license was revoked after representing Zhang and members of Hong Kong 12, said it was possible that Zhang’s harsh punishment was trying to cover up the Wuhan outbreak. It is a vendetta against civilian journalists whose purpose is to send a message to others. His initial arrest was widely covered by the international media.
The issue of the virus is actually very sensitive, including where it came from and the situation in Wuhan, he said.
Ren added, she was there to do some on-site interviews and got in touch with Radio Free Asia and Epoch Times for interviews. Both are seen by Chinese authorities as hostile media.
Ren said the sentence was also an expression of China’s strict controls on journalism, public opinion and freedom of expression.
According to the report, he said, no matter whether you are a citizen journalist or independent media, things that are so-called sensitive and not in the capacity of propaganda are not allowed to be said. If you make these things public, you may get similar results as Zhang Zhan got. This is a warning to others.
Earlier, the US State Department had urged China to release civilian journalist Zhang Zhan, expressing deep concern over his deteriorating health, the BBC reported in a report.
He was sentenced to four years in prison for reporting the outbreak of Kovid-19 in Wuhan when the pandemic began.
The report said Zhang has been on intermittent hunger strike since his detention in May last year.
America’s move comes after reports that he was dangerously close to death.
“We have repeatedly expressed our serious concern about the arbitrary nature of his detention and the abuse he has been subjected to during this time,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“We reiterate our call to the PRC for his immediate and unconditional release,” he said, seeking relief for Zhang.