Gao Yu (高瑜) , 71,journalist,Sentenced to 7 Years for Exercising the Right to Free Expression & Press

Gao Yu (高瑜), 71, woman journalist, was sentenced to seven years in prison on spurious charge “ leaking state secrets”, which an internal Communist party document, “Document No. 9”.

 

Document No. 9,  in which the CCP restricts discussion of sensitive subjects “Seven Don’t Speaks” (七不讲)” (seven taboos),  urged the aggressive targeting of subversive ideological trends including support for:

1.universal values
2. free press
3. civil society
4. civil rights
5. historical errors of the CCP
6. crony capitalism
7. judicial independence

This is Gao's third time in prison. Gao, working for the official China News Service in 1980s, mostly produced interviews with various famous personalities and provided her articles including student movements in 1988 to oversea Chinese language media in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other countries. In 1988, Gao joined the Economics Weekly (经济学周报) which was taken over by Journalist He Jiadong (何家栋) and the Democracy Wall veterans Chen Ziming and Wang Juntao. She published a few influencial interviews, including one with Yan Jiaqi and Wen Yuankai on political reform.

During the 1989 Pro-democracy Movement, Gao Yu joined her fellow journalists in a few protest marches. After the martial law, on May 21, Gao Yu contacted two dozens representatives of the National People's Congress, demanding them to revoke the martial law. On June 3, just before the bloody crackdown, Gao Yu was kidnapped in front of her home and then was secretly jailed for 15 months.

Gao Yu remained active after her release. In 1993, she was arrested again for "leaking state secret" and sentenced to six years in prison. While serving that sentence, she was bestowed several awards from various international organizations including UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 1997

Gao Yu said: “Between freedom and dictatorship, between truth and lies, there is no middle ground (在自由与独裁、真理与谎言之间,没有中间道路可走)”“I would like to recall the words of Shi Liangcai, a Chinese reporter and pioneer of the independent media, ‘You have a gun. I have a pen’. History has given me the choice of a pen.”

Gao Yu has many of the ailments, high blood pressure, heart disease and Ménière’s disease, and she often falls ill in the detention centre. In the time shortly after she was arrested in April 2004, the interrogations were frequent and went on for extended periods of time. There were scores of interrogations in the beginning of  1-2 months, and she was basically subjected to about 10 hours of questioning every day, sometimes even for longer. The pressure was intense at that time. In the half year since the trial in November 2014, she has managed only to maintain a state of equilibrium. Her physical situation is quite worrying.

Deprive medical treatment or torture as a form of reprisal against prisoners of conscience received considerable attention in 2014. For HRDs, “death by detention” remains a very real possibility, and various abuses behind bars led directly to deaths in 2014. Only in 2014, at least 6 prisoners of conscience died in custody or died immediately after they were released. Cao Shunli (曹顺利) passed away in March from illnesses that worsened or were contracted in detention._ Tibetan prisoners Goshul Lobsang (果秀洛桑) and Tenzin Choedak (丹增曲扎) died in March and December, respectively, after their bodies were decimated by torture; they had been serving long sentences tied to the demonstrations in the Tibet Autonomous Region in 2008._ Shi Enxiang (師恩祥), an underground bishop died in custody after 14 Years secret detention.

That a free press & free expression hold the authorities to account has been one of empowering civil society since the 1989 Prodemocracy Movement in China.

 

More:

Interviews and articles of Gao Yu

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_Fherum-SE

http://beijingspring.com/bj2/2006/170/20061129165400.htm

 

http://www.dw.de/习近平与傅高义怎么进了一个门下/a-16904285

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