The Chinese authorities are using trumped-up charges to target a prominent journalist who has been detained for disclosing state secrets, said Amnesty International.
Gao Yu, 70, is accused of sharing a ‘secret’ document with editors of a foreign website in August last year, Chinese state media reported on Thursday.
“Gao is the latest victim of China’s vaguely worded and arbitrary state secret laws which the authorities repeatedly use as a smokescreen to target activists,” said Anu Kultalahti, China Researcher at Amnesty International.
Gao is an outspoken campaigner for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. The past week has seen several prominent activists arrested ahead of the 25th anniversary of the crackdown on 4 June.
“The timing of Gao’s detention is highly dubious and raises serious questions as to the authorities’ true motives,” said Kultalahti.
Gao’s friends became concerned for her whereabouts when she failed to turn up to an event to commemorate the Tiananmen crackdown. State media have since confirmed that she was detained on 24 April.