Prisoned Chinese Wuhan journalist Zhang Zhan is now ‘close to death’: Reports

Asha Bajaj
2 min readNov 6, 2021

#WuhanJournalist, #COVID19, # ZhangZhan

Beijing/IBNS: A Chinese journalist, who was jailed for her coverage of China’s initial response to Covid in Wuhan, is close to death following months of intermittent hunger strikes in protest at her jailing, reports Radio Free Asia.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Zhang Zhan, who is also a former lawyer, was sentenced to four years imprisonment by Shanghai’s Pudong District People’s Court on Dec. 28, 2020.

Zhang’s brother Zhang Ju expressed his fear on Twitter and posted: “Zhan is 177cm tall, now she has less than 40kg wt. She may not survive the coming cold winter. I hope the world remembers how she used to be.[sic]”

Zhang Zhan’s mother had a video call with her daughter on Oct. 28 and told RFA that her health seems to have deteriorated.

“She can’t walk unassisted now, and her head keeps drooping as she speaks,” her mother told RFA. “She will be in huge danger if they don’t release her on medical parole.”

“I cried for several hours straight after I got out [from the video meeting],” she said.

Gansu-based rights activist Li Dawei said Zhang has persisted with her hunger strike despite desperate pleas from her own family.

“I told the state security police that if they let me meet with her, I would do some ideological work with her and change her attitude, and persuade her to eat,” Li told RFA. “I got no reply.”

In its statement, NGO International Federation for Human Rights said: “The Observatory is deeply concerned about the health conditions and risk of death of Zhang Zhan and urges the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release her and grant her immediate access to adequate and comprehensive medical treatment.”

Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women