Hong Kong Protest
Hong Kong Protest

As her case moves closer to trial, Chinese journalist and press freedom advocate Gao Yu says she was forced to confess to leaking state secrets.

She made the comments Monday through her new lawyer, Mo Shaoping, who is taking over the case because the previous lawyer is suffering from health problems.

He said Gao told him recently that she was forced to give her confession, which was then broadcast on state-run television.

"She thinks she did not illegally provide state secrets to [someone] overseas," he said. "When we asked why she admitted to this before, she explained that the public security authority threatened her with her son, saying that if she didn't confess, her son will be involved. ... But now she is completely overturned her original statement, not just to lawyers but when to the procurators, she had totally overthrow the confession in front of prosecutors."

Gao was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of providing state secrets to foreign institutions.

Police said she received a copy of a confidential Communist Party document in 2013 and provided an electronic version of it to a foreign person who runs a website where full text was posted.

Mo said the 70-year-old activist has been given timely treatment for her health ailments while in custody, including heart disease and high blood pressure.