Int'l Federation Of Journalists Urges China To Release Jailed Internet Censorship Critic

Int'l Federation of Journalists Urges China to Release Jailed Internet Censorship Critic

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) called on the Chinese government on Wednesday to clear Zhang Jialong of what it believes are arbitrary charges and immediately release the former journalist and human rights activist from jail

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 13th January, 2021) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) called on the Chinese government on Wednesday to clear Zhang Jialong of what it believes are arbitrary charges and immediately release the former journalist and human rights activist from jail.

Zhang has been held in police custody since August 18. On January 8, the activist was sentenced to 1.5 years for allegedly provoking social disturbances on the internet. Given the time he has already spent in prison, the 32-year-old is set for release on February 18.

"Former Chinese journalist and renowned critic of internet censorship Zhang Jialong was sentenced to 18 months in prison on January 8 for his remarks on social media that were allegedly aimed at 'spreading false information and provoking trouble.' The International Federation of Journalists condemns the assault on freedom of speech and calls on Chinese authorities to overturn the verdict and release Zhang immediately," the IFJ said in a press release.

According to the organization, the charges brought against Zhang are a customary tool for Beijing to silence political dissent.

The journalist is famous for publicly asking for former US State Secretary John Kerry's help in confronting internet censorship in China and calling on the US authorities to punish those responsible by denying them visas.