Monday, December 15, 2014

A forced confession at the age of 70‏

A 70-year-old woman made a confession on state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) on May 8th, 2014. Hesitatingly, she said she had "made a big mistake" and admitted her "guilt". Her face was pixellated but her voice was identifiable. People knew it was Gao Yu, a Chinese journalist renowned for her courage and independence who had been missing for two weeks.

None of her friends thought it would be possible to extract a confession from this stubborn journalist, who has won so many prizes during her 35-year career.

But there she was, seated on a steel chair in a detention center interrogation room, talking, forced to yield to the blackmail of the authorities, who were threatening to jail her son. Gao Yu has previously spent a total of seven years in prison and now she is facing a possible life sentence on a charge of divulging state secrets.
Providing your fellow citizens with information is dangerous in China. The authorities crack down ruthlessly. At Reporters Without Borders, we monitor and report abuses against journalists as they happen all over the world, including in Asia, where I try to help them by organizing a response.

The task is enormous and the needs are many. Please make a donation to Reporters Without Borders.

Thank you for everything,

Benjamin Ismaïl
Head of the Asia-Pacific desk
Reporters Without Borders

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