04 May 2020
China has sentenced anti-communism writer, Chen Jieren, to 15 years in prison for publishing articles speaking out against the Chinese government.
On Thursday, Jieren was judged by the court to have published “false information” which “attacked and vilified the Communist Party and government” when he published 2 articles in 2018 accusing government officials in Hunan of being corrupt. Shortly after he published the articles he was arrested and has been in prison ever since.
Jieren, however, is not the first blogger to be imprisoned in China for speaking out against the government. He joins a host of other writers that’ve been targeted by the Chinese government for speaking out.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic many people sharing information about the virus were either found to be missing shortly after or having been arrested by Chinese officials.
In February, Business Insider reported that Xu Zhangrun, a professor at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, that had published a negative review on how the government had been dealing with the coronavirus had been removed from all social media platforms and placed under house arrest. Chinese officials referred to this as necessary “quarantine,” however, Xu was being monitored by guards and was stripped of his access to the internet.
China currently has the highest number of detained journalists in the world due to its strict management of media.