Chinese citizen journalist who criticized pandemic response released

by ian


A Chinese man who criticized the government’s pandemic response might have been released after three years of imprisonment.

Fang Bin styled himself as a citizen journalist during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, global attention was on the city of Wuhan, where 11 million residents went through a 76-day lockdown. Fang’s social media posts embarrassed Chinese officials and defied the Communist Party’s control over public information.

Fang disappeared in February of 2020.

Now, people close to him told AP News he’s been in prison ever since for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” This vague criminal charge is traditionally used for China’s political dissidents.

But they also said Fang was set to be released yesterday. Unfortunately, this cannot be confirmed as government offices remain silent on the entire case.

The man was also only one of several citizen journalists that went missing after criticizing the government during COVID-19.