“I sincerely and earnestly accept this lesson and I want to confess”

The public shaming of Gao Yu, a 70-year-old grandmother who had written widely about the pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square, was perhaps the most shocking in a recent series of on-air confessions.

“I believe that what I did broke the law and harmed the interests of the country. This was extremely wrong,” Gao, wearing an orange prison vest, said in the televised broadcast. “I sincerely and earnestly accept this lesson and I want to confess.”…

Gao’s arrest, coming almost a year after the alleged crime, appears timed to the upcoming 25th anniversary of the June 4, 1989, military crackdown at Tiananmen Square, one of the most sensitive dates on the Chinese calendar.