Fang Bin, China’s COVID whistleblower is a Chinese citizen journalist who vanished in 2020 while covering the Covid-19 lockdown in Wuhan, has reportedly been freed after three years in custody. In an effort for China to move past the pandemic, Mr. Fang was secretly and suddenly released.
The journalist was later recognised as being in government detention. Fang Bin allegedly left detention on Sunday (April 30), according to many media sources based on family members close to him. The Guardian reported that the individuals said that he visited Beijing, where many of his family members reside, before arriving back in Wuhan on Monday morning, where he is currently being closely observed.
According to a Chinese human rights group, Fang was being sent back and forth between Beijing and Wuhan because neither city wanted to be responsible for him.
Everything about Fang Bin
Fang Bin is a Chinese COVID whistleblower who rose to fame in 2020 for his video coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. He was arrested in February 2020 and sentenced to three years in prison for his critical reporting on the Chinese government’s handling of the pandemic. His detention has been criticised for its lack of accountability and transparency.
Fang sentenced to three years in prison
The Associated Press learned on Sunday from an unnamed source that Fang Bin had been given a three-year jail term for the loosely defined offence of “picking fights and stirring up trouble,” which has historically been used against political dissidents in China. Additionally, according to Radio Free Asia, he completed his prison term at a facility in Wuhan’s Jiangxia district.
A Similar Story
On the same accusation of “picking fights and causing trouble,” journalist Zhang Zhan, who had formerly practised law, received a four-year jail sentence in December 2020 for her reporting on the events in Wuhan. Zhang started a hunger strike after being imprisoned, and her supporters have expressed grave concern for her physical health.
According to Guardian, Zhang Zhan’s previous attorney said that her imprisonment was a warning from the Chinese government and that she was being treated harshly as payback for her reporting in 2021.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China’s government has frequently been accused of lacking transparency. The first city in a string of cities throughout the world to experience a severe city-wide lockdown in reaction to the virus was Wuhan, which has a population of 11 million.
Both professional and amateur journalists made an effort to notify the public about the terrible effects of the COVID-19 virus, which put pressure on hospitals and other vital services. The Chinese government, however, made an effort to closely control the dissemination of information, obstructing reporting and detaining reporters and whistleblowers who wanted to reveal the truth about the outbreak.