Journalist Gao Yu has filed an appeal against her seven-year sentence for leaking state secrets, according to her lawyer who met with her on Tuesday. Verna Yu at South China Morning Post reports:
Lawyer Shang Baojun visited her at a Beijing detention centre yesterday and learned that she had filed an appeal against the Beijing No 3 Intermediate Court’s verdict on Friday that she had “illegally provided overseas personnel with state secrets”.
“From the points of view of evidence, conviction and the length of the sentence, the verdict was an affront to legal justice,” her appeal said. Shang said the appeal document provided by the detention centre allowed enough space for only one sentence from defendants.
“She said she had received jail sentences before and felt those were shameless enough – but the level of shamelessness of her latest sentence was beyond her imagination,” Shang said. Gao has served jail terms totalling seven years for her writing.
[…] Gao’s other lawyer, Mo Shaoping, said earlier that the prosecution produced no evidence to support its allegations that Gao used Skype software to send an internal Communist Party circular called Document No 9 to the US-based news website Mingjing in July, 2013, but the court still accepted it as truth. [Source]
Read more about the case against Gao Yu and why her lawyers believe the sentence was not justified, via CDT.
Radio Free Asia reports that Gao Yu’s family has been under tight surveillance since her sentence was announced:
“The [state security police] knocked on my door … and told me they were going to begin surveillance,” Gao Yu’s brother Gao Wei told RFA on Monday. “I said OK, and they said that if I went out anywhere they would be following me.”
“I asked them the reason for the surveillance, and they said they didn’t know, but … I found out later from a friend that people were posting online to call for a silent gathering on Tiananmen Square to protest at Gao Yu’s prison sentence.”
“I heard it was black clothing and a white flower,” he said, adding: “But I didn’t see anybody.”
Gao Wei, who is now being driven to outside appointments by his police surveillance detail, said similar measures were being applied to Gao’s son Zhao Ming. [Source]
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists ranked China eighth on a list of 10 “most censored” countries, citing Gao Yu’s detention as a “lowlight.”
Read more about Gao Yu and press freedom in China, via CDT.