Tiananmen Square crackdown

Magazine denies detained Chinese journalist Gao Yu leaked ‘state secret’ document

Publisher of article suspected to be at centre of case says it got information through other channels

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 12:23pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 7:18pm

The publisher of a US-based Chinese-language news magazine has denied it was leaked a confidential Communist Party document by Gao Yu, the veteran journalist who has been placed in criminal detention for allegedly leaking state secrets.

Ho Pin, who publishes Mingjing Monthly, said it had got the document through other channels and that its contents were widely available before it published its article in August.

State-run Xinhua did not give details of the Communist Party document Gao is alleged to have leaked last June and sent to an overseas website, but the timing suggests it coincided with reports of a confidential party circular known as Document No. 9 last year that ordered government officials to tackle seven subversive influences on society, including Western constitutional democracy and “universal values” such as human rights and free speech.

The Mingjing Monthly published the document in August claiming it as an exclusive on its cover. It was also published on Mingjing’s website.

Watch: Beijing parades journalist Gao Yu's confession for "leaking state secrets" on state TV

State television aired footage on Thursday of 70-year-old Gao in prisoner’s uniform making a confession to the police.

“As far as I know, we had obtained the major contents long ago,” said Ho in comments published on the magazine’s website.

Ho said the arrest of Gao was a move by the Communist Party to crack down on dissidents ahead of the June 4 anniversary of the Tianannmen Square pro-democracy protests in 1989.

Gao was among a number of civil rights activists who have been placed in criminal detention ahead of the anniversary.

They include the civil rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who took part in the protests in 1989.

“The document did not involve information that poses national security risks, nor would it have any impact on the market,” said Ho.

“It was only a policy guide within the Communist Party, which had already been reported in many media outlets including the People’s Daily.”