Beijing | His family has warned that Chinese “citizen journalist” Zhang Zhan, who was imprisoned after filming the isolation of Wuhan, the world’s first city affected by COVID-19, is near death.
Ms Zhang, 38, is on a hunger strike after being sentenced to four years in prison in late 2020 for “inciting public unrest”, which is often cited in China against political opponents.
In February 2020, the former Shanghai lawyer moved to Wuhan, in central China, a few days after being isolated in a city of 11 million people.
His pictures of patients lying in bed on the crowded hospital corridor gave a rare view of the health conditions of the city affected by the corona virus.
She is so skinny right now that her brother Zhang Joo warned on Twitter last week that she “can’t live long”. “She may not come in the winter.”
“She seems to have only the God she counts on, the facts she believes in,” he wrote, asking his sister in his letters to “take care of her.”
AFP was unable to contact Zhang Zhou, while his mother declined to comment.
Three weeks ago, a lawyer for the unnamed journalist told AFP that the family had demanded the right to visit the Shanghai Women’s Prison, but had not responded.
Prosecutors had no information about the prisoner’s current condition, but he pointed out that he had refused to be fed and that he had been forcibly fed through a nasal catheter.
Contacted by the AFP, the Department of Corrections declined to comment.
On Thursday, Amnesty International called on the Communist regime to immediately release Zhang Zhao so that “he can end his hunger strike and receive the much-needed medical treatment.”
“The international community must put pressure on the Chinese regime to release Zhang Zhan immediately before it is too late,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a statement on Wednesday.
In addition to Zhang Zhan, at least three independent journalists, Chen Kyushi, Fang Bin and Li Yahua, have been detained after describing the epidemic in Wuhan.