Beijing, December 28: A Chinese court on Monday sentences a citizen journalists four years in jail for reporting about the coronavirus outbreak from the central city of Wuhan last year, on the pretext that the report lead to' picking quarrels and provoking trouble' reported Reuters. China has been criticised globally for misreporting and concealing the facts about COVID-19 outbreak. Chinese Whistleblower Li-Meng Yan's Twitter Account Suspended Days After Her Claim That Coronavirus Was Made in Wuhan Lab.

With this the 37 year old Zhang Zhan becomes the first person in the country to have been tried for using first hand account in reporting about the severity of the cornavirus outbreak which contradicted the official narrative of the government. The country has censored the criticism about its early handling of COVID-19 outbreak, whistle blowers and doctors have been warned against speaking up or have reportedly disappeared. Wuhan Doctor Who Worked With Coronavirus Whistleblower Li Wenliang Dies of COVID-19.

Ren Quanniu, the lawyer representing Zhan said, “Ms Zhang believes she is being persecuted for exercising her freedom of speech,” while speaking to Reuters. After the verdict was pronounced, Quanniu said “We will probably appeal,” adding that the trial at a court in Pudong, a district of China’s business hub of Shanghai, ended at 12.30 p.m., with Zhang being sentenced to four years.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 28, 2020 02:11 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website