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Press Freedom Groups Call for Release of Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan




Sep 19, 2021 8:12 AM IS

Brussels [Belgium], Sep 19 (ANI): Expressing concerns about the health of Chinese journalist and former lawyer Zhang Zhan, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urged the Chinese authorities to exonerate and release Zhang immediately.
In December 2020, Zhang was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of a loosely defined charge often leveled by authorities against those who criticized Chinese authorities.
“Today, a total of 43 non-governmental organizations dedicated to defending press freedom, including the IFJ, today issued a joint letter to Chinese leader Xi Jinping calling for Zhang’s release, after he was released. ‘she reportedly suffered significant weight loss, stomach ulcers and reflux esophagitis,’ the IFJ said in a statement Friday.

The joint letter read, “For the sake of basic human dignity, we ask you, Mr. President, to grant Zhang Zhan the opportunity to meet his parents again by exercising the power conferred on you by Article 80 of the Chinese Constitution and ensuring that she is released before it is too late. “
In addition, the IFJ also expressed serious concern about the treatment of the Chinese journalist and called on the government to release her immediately.
Zhang covered the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in February 2020, exposing methods used by Chinese authorities to contain its spread as well as the situation in local hospitals.
She was arrested in May 2020 on charges of spreading false information through online platforms. The indictment also stated that Zhang had speculated about the coronavirus outbreak while giving interviews to foreign news outlets.
Currently, Zhang is on a hunger strike to protest the arbitrary charges against her. His health has since deteriorated due to malnutrition. (ANI)




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