Washington [US], December 9 (ANI): A US-based rights group has awarded journalist Zhang Zhan, who was jailed by Chinese authorities for reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US-based Christian rights group ChinaAid has awarded her with the Lin Zhao Freedom Award, for her work in promoting the Chinese civil society and advancing the rule of law.
Lawyer-turned-journalist Zhang travelled to Wuhan and "courageously investigated the area ... demonstrat[ing] a dedication to the victims of the COVID-19 that touched the world, and a spirit of fearless sacrifice," ChinaAid said.
The award came at a time when the world is urging China to release Zhang, as her health is deteriorating rapidly and her life is in danger.
As reported by Radio Free Asia, the Lin Zhao award honours a Mao-era dissident, who was executed by the Chinese government.
In November, several United Nations experts had also urged China to release journalist Zhang.
Meanwhile, ChinaAid has also awarded Lin Zhao award to disappeared rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.
Earlier, Paris-based non-governmental organisation, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) had also nominated jailed Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan for the 2021 RSF Press Freedom Awards.
Lawyer-turned-journalist Zhang Zhan was sentenced in December 2020 to four years in prison for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" while covering the initial Covid-19 outbreak in the city of Wuhan in February 2020, RSF said.
Despite constant threats from the authorities, she live-streamed video reports on YouTube, WeChat and Twitter, showing the city's streets and hospitals, and the harassment to which the families of the sick were subjected. (ANI)