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Prominent Chinese Journalist Gao Detained


Gao Yu (File)

The United States is concerned over the recent detention of prominent Chinese journalist Gao Yu.

The United States is concerned over the recent detention of prominent Chinese journalist Gao Yu.

Ms. Gao was reported missing by her family on April 24, and Chinese authorities announced May 7 that the 70-year-old journalist had been detained for allegedly leaking “state secrets” to a foreign media outlet. On May 8, China’s state television network CCTV broadcast a video of a woman that appeared to be Ms. Gao confessing to actions that “touched on legal issues and threatened the national interest.” The international community has become increasingly concerned that the use of televised confessions sets a troubling precedent for rule of law in China and could inhibit the ability of defendants to receive due process.

Several other prominent figures have also been detained by Chinese authorities in the run-up to this year’s twenty-fifth anniversary of the violent suppression of demonstrations in and around Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Chinese authorities routinely round up activists in advance of “sensitive” meetings or dates.

At a press briefing, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the United States “call[s] on Chinese authorities to release these individuals immediately, remove restrictions on their freedom of movement and guarantee them the protections and the freedoms to which they are entitled under China’s international human rights commitments.”
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