A former lawyer, Zhang traveled some 400 miles from Shanghai to Wuhan in early February to report on the pandemic and subsequent makes an attempt to include it, simply because the authorities started reining in state-run and personal Chinese language media.
Her postings got here to an abrupt cease in mid-Could, and she or he was later revealed to have been detained by police and introduced again to Shanghai. In line with Amnesty Worldwide, at one level throughout her detention Zhang went on starvation strike, throughout which era she was shackled and power fed, therapy the group mentioned amounted to torture.
Her lawyer Zhang Keke, who visited Zhang earlier this month whereas she was in detention, described on social media that Zhang had a feeding tube hooked up to her nostril and mouth. He mentioned her arms have been tied to forestall her from eradicating the machine, and that she suffered from fixed headache and ache in her abdomen and throat.
CNN didn’t instantly obtain a response from China’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs on allegations of Zhang’s mistreatment in detention.
Zhang’s lawyer mentioned she attended Monday’s listening to in a wheelchair, as she had turn into frail throughout her time in detention.
However Zhang’s lawyer mentioned the prosecutors didn’t show any concrete proof of the “faux data” Zhang was accused of fabricating throughout the courtroom proceedings. He added that his consumer, in a gesture of protest, barely spoke throughout the trial and refused to plead responsible.
Zhang is the primary citizen journalist identified to have been sentenced for her function in reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. However it isn’t her first run in with the authorities.
In line with her indictment, she was twice detained for 10 days in 2019 for “selecting quarrels and upsetting hassle,” however the doc didn’t specify what had resulted her detention.
One in every of many
Zhang is one in every of a variety of impartial reporters who’ve been detained or disappeared in China because the starting of the pandemic, because the authorities clamped down on protection of the virus and propaganda retailers went into overdrive portraying Beijing’s response as efficient and well timed.
Whereas sporadic outbreaks have popped up and been swiftly suppressed with lockdowns and quarantines, China has largely managed the virus, permitting the nation to return to relative normality.
Restrictions on the press, nonetheless, haven’t lifted, and Chinese language state media has begun aggressively pushing another origin story for the pandemic, with claims the coronavirus might have been circulating outdoors of the nation previous to the preliminary outbreak in Wuhan.