HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Leaking State Secrets: The Case of Gao Yu
July 1995, Vol. 7, No. 8 (C)
SUMMARY | TABLE OF CONTENTS
Gao Yu, 51, one of Chinas most prominent journalists, was sentenced to six years in prison on November 10, 1994, for illegally providing state secrets to institutions outside [Chinas] borders in a series of four articles in Mirror Monthly and Overseas Chinese Daily, both Hong Kong-based publications. The secrets in question related to policy decisions taken by senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in early 1993, and those decisions had already been reported in the Hong Kong press including by pro-Beijing papers. Gao Yus arrest and conviction sent shock waves through media circles in Hong Kong.
But she was only one of a string of journalists, government employees and others tried and sentenced to severe prison terms over the past two years for leaks judged harmful to state security under laws and regulations which allow the Chinese authorities virtually unlimited latitude to suppress information. These laws have often been used against individuals who have been involved in some form of dissident activity; about half of those described here fall into this category.
All those accused of leaking state secrets, including Gao Yu, have been tried in camera, regardless of whether or not the information involved had subsequently become public knowledge, and none of the verdicts in these cases have been made public, as required by Chinese law. But Human Rights in China and Human Rights Watch/Asia have obtained the trial documents in the Gao Yu case and, for the first time, an analysis of the treatment by Chinas legal system of official secrets cases is possible. The trial documents are attached as Appendices I-VI.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
GAO YUS CRIMES
OFFICIAL SECRETS IN CHINA
THE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
GAOS DEFENSE: NO HARM DONE, NO HARM INTENDED
POLITICAL REASONS FOR ARRESTING GAO YU
OTHER SECRETS CASES
APPENDIX I: INDICTMENT OF THE BEIJING MUNICIPAL PEOPLES
APPENDIX II: VERDICT OF THE BEIJING INTERMEDIATE PEOPLES COURT
APPENDIX III: MY PERSONAL STATEMENT TO THE COURT
APPENDIX IV: DEFENSE STATEMENT OF ZHANG SIZHI
APPENDIX V: DEFENSE STATEMENT IN THE CASE OF GAO YU CHARGED WITH SPYING AND ILLEGALLY PROVIDING STATE SECRETS
APPENDIX VI: WRITTEN DEFENSE ARGUMENT IN THE CASE OF GAO YU TO THE COURT OF SECOND INSTANCE
Human Rights Watch July 1995 Vol. 7, No. 8 (C)
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