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    HomeWorldAfter 3 years, Chinese Covid Reporter to Be Released.

    After 3 years, Chinese Covid Reporter to Be Released.

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    Chinese authorities are set to release a man named Fang Bin who disappeared three years ago after sharing videos of overcrowded hospitals and bodies during the Covid-19 outbreak. Fang Bin and other citizen journalists posted details of the pandemic on social media, which embarrassed Chinese officials who faced criticism for their handling of the outbreak. Fang’s case is part of Beijing’s crackdown on criticism of China’s early handling of the pandemic, as the ruling Communist Party seeks to control the country’s narrative.

    Fang Bin was sentenced to three years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a vague charge traditionally used against political dissidents. He was scheduled to be released on Sunday, but the details of his release could not be independently confirmed. Two offices of Wuhan’s public security bureau did not provide any information about Fang’s case.

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    In early 2020, a small number of citizen journalists tried to tell their stories and those of others with smartphones and social media accounts, defying the Communist Party’s monopoly on information. Although their movement was small, the scale was unprecedented in any previous major disease outbreak or disaster in China. However, the information they posed soon got them into trouble. Another citizen journalist named Chen Qiushi disappeared along with Fang Bin in February 2020.

    Zhang Zhan, who also reported on the early stage of the outbreak, was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of picking fights and provoking trouble in December 2020. Her lawyer later said she was in ill health after staging a long-running hunger strike.

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