UK Government admits that it hasn’t raised the case of Chinese citizen journalist and human rights defender Zhang Zhan who disappeared into arbitrary detention five months ago for posting articles on Twitter about Covid 19. Having refused to plead guilty, reports suggest that she is on hunger strike and being forcibly fed.
In response to a Parliamentary Question, the UK Government has admitted that t hasn’t raised the case of Chinese citizen journalist and human rights defender Zhang Zhan who disappeared into arbitrary detention five months ago for posting articles on twitter about Covid 19. Reports suggest that she is on hunger strike and being forcibly fed – having refused to plead guilty. If we are unwilling to raise cases like hers, what sort of signal does that send to the Chinese Communist Party?
Curtailment of free speech is also in breach of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a member of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations the Chinese Communist Party should explain why it is in breach of so many of the Declaration’s 30 Articles.
Lord Alton of Liverpool – To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the case, and (2) the health and well-being, of Zhang Zhan who is reportedly on hunger strike whilst detained in China; and what representations they have made to the government of China about her detention. [HL9105]
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon – We have not raised Zhang Zhan’s case with the Chinese authorities. We are concerned by her case, but do not have information on her health or well-being. A free press and the free flow of information are vital for good governance. We have consistently raised our concerns about media freedoms in China and will continue to do so.