Chinese Woman Detained For Filming COVID-19 Events Set To Regain Freedom

Chinese citizen journalist who was jailed for filming moments during the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to regain her freedom after serving her sentence.

Zhang Zhan, 40, was detained by Chinese authorities for covering the events during the pandemic.

From her base in Shanghai, she travelled to Wuhan in February 2020 to document what was happening on the streets and in hospitals.

Zhang received a wide reach on social media despite threats from authorities.

One of her livestreamed clips showed how she kept her camera rolling while an official warned her to “stop filming or [he would] get mad”.

Zhang had posted more than 100 videos on her YouTube Channel, WeChat and Twitter, before being reported missing on 14 May 2020.

The next day, authorities announced that she was detained by police in Shanghai. She was charged in November that year and was sentenced the following month.

She was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, a frequent charge against activists in China.

Media watchdogs and human rights groups had said that Ms Zhang was wrongfully prosecuted.

According to Amnesty International, when the pandemic first struck, “Citizen journalists were the only source of uncensored, first-hand information about the Covid-19 outbreak in China.

“Because they work independently of state-controlled media, citizen journalists face constant harassment for exposing information the government would rather keep quiet”.

It is unclear whether Zhang has been freed but some rights groups alleged that authorities have been silent regarding her release

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