A Chinese citizen journalist who covered Wuhan’s coronavirus outbreak has been jailed for four years.

Zhang Zhan was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, a frequent charge against activists.

The 37-year-old former lawyer was detained in May, and has been on hunger strike for several months. Her lawyers say she is in poor health.

Zhang is one of several citizen journalists who have run into trouble for reporting on Wuhan.

There is no free media in China and authorities are known to clamp down on activists or whistleblowers seen as undermining the government’s response to the outbreak.

Ren Quanniu, one of Zhang Zhan’s lawyers, expressed serious concern for her physical and mental wellbeing, saying she was very weak and on hunger strike. Ren said his client “looked devastated” when her sentence was announced and her mother sobbed loudly.

SOURCE – RADIO NZ

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