China: Free journalist Zhang Zhan


When Wuhan went into lockdown in 2020, Zhang Zhan was one of the few citizen journalists to report on the crisis. She took to social media, reporting how officials had detained reporters and harassed families of Covid-19 patients.

Zhang Zhan went missing in May 2020, authorities later confirmed that she had been held by police in Shanghai. The judge sentenced her to four years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and she was transferred to Shanghai Women’s Prison.

The authorities continue to refuse her family visits. Citizen journalists like her were the only source of uncensored, first-hand information about the epidemic and they continue facing constant harassment for exposing information. If the Chinese authorities are serious about combating Covid-19 and preventing similar outbreaks from happening again, they must stop censorship and respect freedom of expression.

Take action and urge the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping to free Zhang Zhan immediately and unconditionally.