Publisher and deputy editor of the liberal daily Nanfang Dushi Bao, jailed for eight years in June 2004 on false charges of corruption and stealing public funds. He and a colleague, Li Minying (who got six years), were accused of stealing part of the paper’s considerable advertising revenue.
Yu’s conviction is linked with the popular Cantonese paper’s investigative journalism, especially about the SARS epidemic and the death of a young man, Sun Zhigang, who was beaten to death in a city police station. Yu, 35, and two colleagues, Li Minying and star journalist Cheng Yizhong, were sacked from the paper and thrown in prison. The trumped-up charges against the outspoken paper by the local authorities, including Canton police chief Zhu Suisheng, aim to instill a climate of fear among Chinese journalists, some of whom have told Reporters Without Borders they feel "crushed" and "frightened" by the case.