A veteran Chinese journalist has been sentenced to seven years in prison charged with leaking state secrets.
Seventy-one-year-old Gao Yu gave an allegedly forced confession to Chinese television where she admitted to working against the interests of the state.
Observers say Gao’s sentence is part of a widening crackdown on dissent.
“This sentence has heightened our general concern over the situation of human rights defenders in China, including journalists and bloggers, who have been persecuted for expressing their views or exercising their right to information,” Raphael Droszewski, a first secretary at the European Union Delegation to China told reporters near the courthouse.
Gao was tried behind closed doors by a Beijing court in November. She was detained last May charged with leaking an internal Communist Party document to an overseas media group. Gao maintains her innocence and has said she will appeal the verdict.
China has the greatest number of jailed journalists in the world, with 44 people currently behind bars.