Minister of Foreign Affairs Mike Pompeo The Chinese verdict condemned a journalist who reported on Covid-19 Sentenced to four years in prison, saying the Chinese Communist Party would do “whatever it takes” to silence those who question him.
“The United States strongly condemns the false prosecution in the People’s Republic of China and the conviction of journalist Zhang Zhan on December 28. We call on the government of the People’s Republic of China to release her immediately and unconditionally,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has shown once again that it will do whatever it takes to silence those who question the party’s official line, even regarding important public health information.”
Pompeo added that “lying is a feature, not a flaw in authoritarian regimes.”
Zhang, 37, was sentenced to four years in prison on Monday after she reported overcrowding hospitals and conditions in Wuhan earlier this year. Reports said she was convicted of the crime of “inciting quarrels and inciting trouble”.
Zhang posted videos on YouTube that showed residents interviews and photos of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
She was critical of the response and was eventually arrested in May. “The way the government managed this city was just intimidation and threats,” she said in one of the videos, according to the New York Times. “This is really the tragedy of this country.”
Reuters, citing her lawyer mentioned There is likely to be an appeal and he said his client believes she is “being persecuted for exercising freedom of expression.”
Pompeo said the world “relied heavily” on information provided by Zhang and other citizen journalists after the Chinese Communist Party restricted and manipulated coronavirus information at the start of the outbreak. “Her hasty trial, which foreign observers have been prevented from accessing, shows the extent of the Chinese Communist Party’s fear of Chinese citizens telling the truth,” the statement said.
The Trump administration has repeatedly blamed Beijing for the epidemic, and accused the Chinese Communist Party of lying about human-to-human transmission and other vital information on COVID-19, allowing the disease to spread around the world.
In June, senior Chinese officials issued a lengthy report on the country’s response and defended Beijing’s actions.
“The Chinese government has not postponed or hidden anything,” said Ma Xiaoyu, head of the National Health Commission at the time. Instead, we promptly reported virus data and relevant information about the epidemic to the international community and made an important contribution to preventing and controlling the epidemic around the world.
Edmund DeMarsh of Fox News contributed to this report.