Beijing police ransack dissident's home after praise by Germany

April 01, 2016 15:32
Gao Yu (inset) says the demolition of her study in her backyard was barbaric. She is threatening to break her promise not to talk to the foreign media. Photos:

A dissident Chinese journalist has had her Beijing home ransacked by city management authorities after she was accused of violating the housing ordinance.

Gao Yu, 72, collapsed from apparent high blood pressure after putting up a fight, Apple Daily reports.

Local housing officers, backed by the police, tore down a study they claimed Gao had built illegally.

The operation left the rest of Gao's home in shambles, the report said.    

Gao's son was injured during the chaos and was taken away for questioning by the police.

The raid followed a recent visit to Beijing by German President Joachim Gauck who praised Gao's work.

The raid was in retaliation for his high-profile endorsement of Gao, sources said.  

Gao is serving a five-year prison sentence under house arrest for leaking state secrets.

In 2014, her home was also ransacked when police came to arrest her.

After her release into house arrest, her friends helped refurbish her home, adding a brick study in the back of the house.

Gao said the demolition of her study was illegal, adding no advance notice was given by the authorities.

There was also no notice period to file an appeal, she said.

Gao threatened to break her promise to the Chinese authorities not to talk to the foreign media.

Human rights activist Zhou Li said Gao is in stable condition after suffering hypertension and continues to take medication.

Political activist Su Yutong, a close Gao confident, said the central government was clearly sending a warning to Gao for her participation in recent public events.

It was also a rebuke to Gauck to remind him China will not allow foreign meddling in its affairs, Su said.

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