Joint letter urging President Xi Jinping to release reporter Zhang Zhan

Mr. Xi Jinping

President of the State

people from the Republic of China

The general office of the Council of State

2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu

Pekinshi 100017

Paris, September 17, 2021

Mister President,

As a collective of non-governmental organizations defending human rights and press freedom, we urge you to exonerate and release the human rights defender, journalist and former lawyer. Zhang Zhan, who is critically ill and could die soon if she remains in detention.

In February 2020, Zhang was among several Chinese journalists who traveled to Wuhan city to cover the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Zhang Zhan has done a remarkable job of informing the public about the health crisis, in accordance with the principle of press freedom enshrined in article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

On December 28, 2020, Zhang Zhan was sentenced to four years in prison by the Shanghai Pudong New Zone Court for “causing quarrels and causing unrest” following a simple three-hour procedure that failed. did not meet international fair trial standards.

In her indictment, prosecutors accused her, without providing any evidence, of publishing large amounts of “false information” and criticized her for accepting interviews from foreign media, which is not true. in any case improper action. Zhang Zhan did not plead guilty to any alleged crime and demonstrated his innocence by going on a hunger strike which led to his deteriorating health.

Zhang Zhan has lost a lot of weight in recent weeks and is now seriously ill. Zhang Zhan was then hospitalized for 11 days in early August, but has since been returned to prison, where she is at risk of dying if not immediately released. Zhang Zhan was also the victim of ill-treatment, which clearly goes against the United Nations Convention against Torture which China ratified in 1988.

In the name of basic human dignity, we ask you, Mr. President, to grant Zhang Zhan the opportunity to see his parents again by exercising the power conferred on you by Article 80 of the Chinese Constitution and ensuring that let her be released before her. it’s too late.

Regards,

To copy:

Li Zhanshu

President

people from the Republic of China

Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

1 Qian Men Xi Da Jie

Xicheng District, Beijing 100013


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