Award winning Chinese journalist Gao Yu, has been hospitalised after officials forcibly demolished a shed of about 50-60 square feet outside her home on grounds of illegal construction, US-backed Radio Free Asia reports.

Gao suffers from heart disease and high blood pressure, and is prone to dizziness. According to the RFA, her illnesses worsened after the shed was demolished.

Gao Yu.

The journalist said that many people in the neighbourhood had also engaged in such construction but the police were selectively targeting her, Ming Pao reported.

Gao has previously applied to seek treatment in Germany. While Germany has approved her visa application, China said that she was still serving her sentence and forbade her from leaving the country.

She was convicted of “leaking” a Communist Party secret document to an overseas website, and has had her sentence reduced from seven to five years following an appeal hearing in November. She is currently serving her sentence at home due to her illness.

Gao Yu. Photo: Stand News.

Gao has been arrested and imprisoned in the past. She was arrested for reporting and taking part in the pro-democracy student protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, which ended with a bloody crackdown. She was then jailed in 1994 for leaking state secrets and served a sentence of six years.

The 72-year old has won numerous press freedom awards including the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize awarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Association of Newspapers’ Golden Pen of Freedom Award.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.