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Chinese citizen journalist who documented early COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan released from jail
Fang Bin, a Chinese citizen journalist who documented the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, has been released from prison after three years. Fang and other citizen journalists posted details of the pandemic in early 2020, defying the Chinese Communist Party’s monopoly on information. Fang’s case was part of Beijing's crackdown on criticism of China’s early handling of the pandemic. He had been sentenced to three years in prison for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble," a vague charge typically used against political dissidents. Chen Qiushi, another citizen journalist who disappeared in February 2020, resurfaced in September 2021 on a friend's YouTube video feed saying he had suffered from depression. Another citizen journalist, Zhang Zhan, was sentenced to four years in prison for reporting on the early stage of the outbreak.
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