A journalist sentenced in China for freedom of expression

BEIJING: Freedom of expression in China is unacceptable, with a journalist sentenced to 15 years in prison. According to court documents, a journalist working in China’s most powerful propaganda agency has been sentenced to 15 years for criticizing the ruling Communist Party.

The sentence handed down to Chen Jirin is the harshest ever against the free speech of the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping, which has upset the press and the Chinese media to serve the interests of the ruling Communist Party.

The incident comes at a time when China is facing an international investigation into its handling of the coronavirus epidemic, including questions about whether authorities have withheld critical information that could lead to the virus spreading globally.

Chen Jeren, a former journalist for the Communist Party’s propaganda in the newspaper People’s Daily, was sentenced on Thursday on charges of “choosing quarrels and causing trouble, extortion, illegal business dealings, and bribery,” AFP reported.

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The allegation of “choosing disputes and causing trouble” is a legal grip that Chinese authorities sometimes use against people who criticize the government. I have published ‘false’ and ‘negative’ information online to suppress relevant cases. The statement said Chen Jeren, along with his ex-wife and three others, was part of a “demonic force” that illegally earned 7.3 million yuan (US 10 1 million) from his activities.

A Chinese human rights watchdog has called for his immediate and unconditional release, saying “it is clear that Chen Jeren has been sentenced for making political speeches on the social media application WeChat and other social media platforms.”

He said Chen Jeren had been fired from state media outlets, including China Youth Daily, Beijing Daily, and People’s Daily.

He has since started posting comments and investigative reports on social media. Observers have accused Chinese authorities of denying a fair trial to Chen Jeren.

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