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5/17/2024 China (International Christian Concern) — Zhang Zhan, a 40-year-old Christian blogger, journalist, activist, and former human rights lawyer, was scheduled to be released on May 13 after four years in prison.  

Zhang was imprisoned in May 2020 after she was convicted of reporting on the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. The Free Zhang Zhan campaign issued a press release on May 13 stating that there was no confirmation of her release from prison and that Zhang’s family had been under immense pressure from Chinese officials not to give any media interviews about her case.

The press release added, “We are left wondering where she is, how she is doing physically and mentally, what’s happened to her family, and what the future holds for her … It is totally unacceptable that the Chinese government subject many human rights defenders and their families to this kind of cruelty. Even after their release from prison, they are still deprived of their basic rights.”

Zhang’scase highlights the Chinese government’s arbitrary arrests of Christians, journalists, human rights lawyers, and other activists who challenge the Communist government’s control and policies. 

“International Christian Concern (ICC) joins the Free Zhang Zhan campaign and other international advocacy groups and Christian ministries in calling on the Chinese government to immediately confirm Zhang’s release to her family,” an ICC staffer in the region said.

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