A lawyer says a Chinese journalist will be freed without charge following nine months in detention after she helped cover the Hong Kong democracy protests for a German publication.

Zhou Shifeng said Thursday that Beijing prosecutors decided not to bring any charge against Zhang Miao, who was a news assistant for Die Zeit. She is scheduled to be released Thursday night after being detained in October on a disturbance charge.

Zhang's detention highlights the precarious situation for Chinese nationals working for foreign media, as they often become targets of police harassment and intimidation. Angela Kockritz, the Beijing correspondent for Die Zeit, left China after she also felt pressure from authorities.

Zhou says he argued to prosecutors that the evidence against Zhang was obtained through coercion and torture.