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Jailed Chinese citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan (FIle Pic)
Jailed Chinese citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan (FIle Pic)

Reporters Without Borders urges China to release ailing Chinese COVID-19 journalist Zhang Zhan

ANI | Updated: Dec 28, 2021 10:00 IST

Paris [France], December 28 (ANI): Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Monday urged Beijing to release Zhang Zhan, one of the first of China's "citizen journalists" who was jailed for coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Zhang Zhan courageously risked her life reporting in Wuhan at a time when very little information was available on the mode of transmission and severity of Covid-19, and she should have been celebrated as a hero instead of being detained", said RSF East Asia Bureau head, Cedric Alviani.
Cedric urged the international community to build up pressure on the Chinese regime to "grant Zhang Zhan medical parole and ensure that she is released before it is too late."

Lawyer-turned-journalist Zhang Zhan was sentenced in December 2020 to four years in prison for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" while covering the initial Covid-19 outbreak in the city of Wuhan in February 2020.
Earlier this month, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a report featuring journalists killed and imprisoned worldwide, with China ranking on top of the list for jailing 50 journalists.
Back in September, RSF and a coalition of 44 human rights NGOs urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to exonerate and release Zhang Zhan. At least 10 other press freedom defenders detained in China may soon suffer a deadly fate, the watchdog said.
RSF has recently published an unprecedented investigative report entitled The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China, which reveals the previously unheard-of campaign of repression led by Beijing against journalism and the right to information worldwide.
China, ranked 177th out of 180 in the 2021 RSF World Press Freedom Index, is the world's largest captor of journalists with at least 126 detained. (ANI)