China: Gao Yu charged with ‘leaking state secrets abroad’

Veteran journalist Gao Yu went missing on 24 April 2014. There was no information concerning her fate until 8 May 2014 when the official Chinese news agency Xinhua confirmed that she is being detained by Beijing police on the charge of ‘leaking state secrets abroad’

According to PEN’s information, Gao Yu is accused of leaking a secret document to editors of a foreign website in August 2013. Footage of her ‘confessing’, feared to have been taken under duress, was shown on state television. Her whereabouts remain unknown, and there are serious concerns for her well-being and integrity.

For further information, please visit the PEN International website.

TAKE ACTION:

Send appeals to the Chinese authorities:

  • Expressing serious concern about the arrest and well-being of veteran journalist Gao Yu;
  • Urging that she is protected from ill-treatment and granted access to family and a lawyer of her choice;
  • Calling for her immediate and unconditional release if, as feared, she is being persecuted for her legitimate professional activities;
  • Expressing concern that she has been shown ‘confessing’ on state television, in contravention of her right to a fair trial;
  • Protesting the renewed crackdown on government critics in recent months, and reminding the Chinese authorities that Article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China provides for freedom of speech;
  • Reminding the authorities that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for freedom of legitimate expression, the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right to a fair trial, they are obliged to ‘refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose’.

Send appeals to:

His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China
Fax: +86 10 6238 1025
Salutation: Your Excellency 

Fu Zhenghua
Director, Beijing Public Security Bureau
Beijingshi Gong’anju
9 Dongdajie, Qianmen, Dongchengqu,
Beijing 100740, P.R. China
Fax: +86 10 65242927
Telephone: +86 10 8522 5050 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Director

We also recommend that you write to the Chinese embassy in the UK asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.

His Excellency Mr Liu Xiaoming
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
31 Portland Place
London
W1B 1QD
Fax: 020 7636 2981
Salutation: Your Excellency

Or you could use the form below.  A sample letter is provided but it is always better if you put the appeal in your own words.

[ecampaign ‘to=political@chinese-embassy.org.uk‘ subject=”In support of Gao Yu”]

Your Excellency

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to express my serious concern about the  arrest and well-being of veteran journalist Gao Yu.

According to PEN’s information, veteran journalist Gao Yu went missing on 24 April 2014. There was no information concerning her fate until 8 May 2014 when the official Chinese news agency Xinhua confirmed that she is being detained by Beijing police on the charge of ‘leaking state secrets abroad’. Gao Yu is understood to have been accused of leaking a secret document to editors of a foreign website in August 2013. Footage of her ‘confessing’, feared to have been taken under duress, was shown on state television, in contravention of her right to a fair trial.

Gao Yu’s whereabouts remain unknown, and there are serious concerns for her well-being and integrity. I strongly urge that she is protected from ill-treatment and granted access to her family and a lawyer of her choice as a matter of urgency and join PEN in calling for her immediate and unconditional release if, as feared, she is being persecuted for her legitimate professional activities. 

I also join PEN in protesting the renewed crackdown on government critics in recent months, and reminding the Chinese authorities that Article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China provides for freedom of speech. As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for freedom of legitimate expression, the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right to a fair trial, the authorities are obliged to ‘refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose’.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely

[/ecampaign]

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

View all posts by Cat Lucas →

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