Chinese journalist, 71, appeals 7 year jailing

2015-11-24 10:55
File: AP

File: AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - A 71-year-old Chinese journalist appealed on Tuesday against her seven year jail sentence for "leaking state secrets", a conviction condemned by free speech advocates worldwide.

Dozens of police officers blocked access to the Beijing high court where Gao Yu appeared for an hour-long hearing.

The session was "closed" to outsiders, Gao's lawyer Mo Shaoping told AFP, adding he did not expect the guilty verdict to be overturned.

The septuagenarian has suffered from heart problems during her detention, but seemed "reasonably healthy", Mo said.

Named one of the International Press Institute's 50 "world press heroes" in 2000, Gao has been a consistent critic of the ruling Communist party's authoritarian policies.

A court ruled in April that Gao leaked a 2013 directive by the Communist party named "Document number 9" to a Hong Kong media outlet.

Human rights

The document warned of the "dangers" of multiparty democracy, independent media, "universal" definitions of human rights and criticism of the party's historical record, according to copies widely circulated online.

The hearing comes as China's President Xi Jinping oversees a crackdown on dissent which has seen hundreds of lawyers, activists and academics detained in recent years, with dozens jailed.

China's already close controls on the media have been further tightened, reporters say.

France-based Reporters Without Borders ranked China 176th out of 180 countries in its 2015 Press Freedom Index.

State security prevented journalists and around a dozen foreign diplomats from standing near the court, telling them it was "not appropriate".

Gao's jailing was condemned by human rights groups and free speech advocates, while Washington called for her "immediate" release and the EU demanded Beijing "review" her trial.

A consistent advocate for democracy and free speech, Gao was imprisoned following the government crackdown on student protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Her political writings saw her jailed for six years in the 1990s, also on a charge of "leaking state secrets".

She was detained again in the lead-up to the Tiananmen crackdown's 25th anniversary last year.

Read more on:    china

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.