After more than 20 months of silence, the Chinese government has finally revealed the whereabouts of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.
Gao aggressively defended Christians and coal miners in legal disputes with the government. He was arrested in February 2009, released in March 2010, and re-arrested after he publicly disclosed that he had been tortured during his imprisonment.
According to the Texas-based rights organization China Aid, Gao’s brother recently received a government letter stating that Gao Zhisheng is being held in Shaya prison, Xinjiang. That’s in western China—far from family, friends, and the prying eyes of international media based in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong. The Chinese government says Gao was returned to prison for violating terms of his probation.
China Aid’s Bob Fu says Gao was imprisoned in a remote region to prevent concerned people from visiting the jailed attorney.
Is this good news? At least Gao's family finally knows that he is still alive. Now, the Chinese government needs to allow them (and perhaps the Red Cross) to visit Gao to encourage him and determine his health status.
You can learn more about Gao Zhisheng and also sign a petition demanding his release here.
The following video details his story. WARNING! It’s not suitable for viewing by young children.