Chinese journalist gets 4-year jail term for reporting virus

Journalist Zhang Zhan was sentenced to 4-year term for allegedly 'picking quarrels and provoking trouble' for her reporting of the virus.

Eitan Divinsky ,

Meting justice to China
Meting justice to China

Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan was handed a four-year jail term for her coverage of developments in Wuhan during the chaos that embroiled the country almost a year after accounts of an "unknown viral pneumonia" surfaced in the city, reported Yahoo! News.

Zhan's was sentenced at a hastily-organized trial where she was accused of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" for her reporting in the chaotic initial stages of the outbreak.

The Chinese regime has come down hard on those it accuses of betraying the system - from government officials to human rights activists.

Beijing has praised itself on success in the COVID fight, while accusing others of negligence handling the crisis. Authorities have controlled the spread of mass information, ensuring positive coverage for the regime and advancing their agenda.

"Zhang Zhan looked devastated when the sentence was announced," said one of Zhang's attorneys, as "her mother sobbed loudly as the verdict was read."

37-year-old Zhang went on a hunger strike in June and has been force-fed via a nasal tube.

The attorney told media Zhang expected to "die in jail" and would not eat until her sentence was commuted.

"It's an extreme method of protesting against this society and this environment," she was quoted as saying.