HOTLINE050 447 70 63
We are available 24/7
Leave your contact details
and we contact you
Thank you for reaching out

Or contact us:

info@imi.org.ua

050 447 70 63

File a complaint

RSF and 44-NGO coalition urge Chinese President to release Covid-19 reporter on hunger strike - RSF

17.09.2021, 17:13
BBC
BBC
On September 17th, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and a coalition of 44 human rights NGOs urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to exonerate and release Covid-19 reporter Zhang Zhan, who has been on hunger strike since May 2020, for which she was forced-fed,  as Reporters sans frontières reported.

In a joint letter published on 17th September 2021, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and a coalition of 44 human rights NGOs urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to exonerate and release Zhang Zhan, 38, a journalist who covered the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic in the city of Wuhan (Central China). 

On 28th December 2020, after a mere three-hour trial, the Shanghai Pudong New Area Court sentenced her to four years in prison for ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’. To demonstrate her innocence, Zhang has been on hunger strike since May 2020, for which she was force-fed through a nasal tube, and is at risk of dying if not immediately released.

“Zhang Zhan did not commit any crime but instead courageously risked her life to inform the public on the health crisis. She should never have been arrested, let alone subjected to a harsh prison sentence”, says the head of RSF East Asia bureau, Cédric Alviani, who urges President Xi Jinping to “ensure that Zhang Zhan is released before it’s too late.”

According to her family, Zhang has lost significant weight and was hospitalised for 11 days in early August but has since been returned to prison despite her deteriorating health. Zhang Zhan was also reportedly the victim of ill treatment and her family has been systematically denied visits.

Along with Zhang Zhan, at least 10 other press freedom defenders detained in China may soon suffer a deadly fate, including investigative reporter and RSF World Press Freedom Awardee Huang QiSwedish publisher Gui Minhai and Uighur journalist Ilham Tohti, recipient of the Václav Havel Prize and Sakharov Prize

Kunchok Jinpa, a leading source of information about Tibet for journalists, died in February 2021 as a result of mistreatment in detention. Nobel Peace Prize and RSF Press Freedom Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and dissident blogger Yang Tongyan both died in 2017 from cancer that was left untreated in detention. 

China, ranked 177th out of 180 in the 2021 RSF World Press Freedom Index, is the world's largest captor of journalists with at least 122 detained.

Signatories:

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Article 19

Amnesty International

Association of Taiwan Journalists

Association of the New School for Democracy

Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia

China Aid Association

China Change

China Political Prisoner Concern 

Chinese Democracy Education Foundation

Chinese Human Rights Defenders  (CHRD)

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Consumer Foundation, Mongolia

CSW, UK

FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Freedom House 

Front Line Defenders

Globe International Center, Mongolia

Government Citizen Partnership, Mongolia

Humanitarian China

Human Rights in China (HRIC)

Human Rights Now

Human Rights Foundation

IFEX

Index on Censorship

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

Judicial Reform Foundation

LGBT Centre, Mongolia

Mongolian Men’s Union

Mongolian Women's Employment Support Federation

PEN International

Safeguard Defenders

Steps Without Borders, Mongolia

Taiwan Forever Association

Taiwan Media Watch Foundation

Taiwan Media Workers Union

Tuva Women's AVAM Union, Mongolia

The Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ)

The Taiwan Foreign Correspondents’ Club

The Rights Practice

Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP)

Women for Change NGO, Mongolia

Women’s Right in China

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Reporters sans frontières

Liked the article?
Help us be even more cool!
Do you want to be first to learn about the new research of the Institute of Mass Information? Subscribe to the newsletter!
Thank you for suscribing!