Thursday, January 4, 2007
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), human rights attorney Gao
Zhisheng was taken away from his Beijing home a week ago by police.
No one can now confirm his whereabouts, although one report suggests
he may no longer be in police custody.
In an interview on Jan. 3 with RFA reporter Zhang Min, Gao's
mother-in-law said of Gao, "He had only stayed [at home in
Beijing] for a couple of days, then he was taken away by them,
and no one knows where he went."
According to the RFA report, the mother-in-law had lived for
about three months at her daughter's home in Beijing, and returned
to her own home in Urumchi on Jan. 1. According to her recollection,
Gao was taken away by police on Dec. 27 or 28.
The AIDs activist Hu Jia told RFA that one of Gao's relatives
in Shandong Province said that Gao had been seen since at the
house of his sister in Shandong. However, according to RFA, no
one has been able to confirm this report.
Gao has been one of the most outspoken human rights activists
in China. The removal of Gao from his home is the latest incident
in Gao's public, two-year long challenge to the CCP to end its
human rights abuses and the CCP's attempts to silence Gao.
Beginning with a letter on Dec. 31, 2004 to the National People's
Congress, Gao wrote three open letters to the top leadership of
the CCP asking for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong.
In November 2005 Gao's law office was shut down and Gao's law
license revoked. In December 2005, Gao wrote an open letter resigning
from the CCP in which he revealed that his investigations into
the persecution of Falun Gong had lead him to lose hope completely
in the CCP.
While Gao was still free, he and his family were subjected to
260 days of daily harassment by the police, which included three
attempts on Gao's life. On Aug. 15 2006, Gao was arrested on the
charge of "inciting subversion." After Gao's arrest,
his family continued to be subjected to intense harassment, which
included attacks on his wife Geng He and his daughter Geng Ge.
On Dec. 22 in a closed trial at which he was not allowed to have
his own chosen counsel, Gao was given a suspended sentence under
the condition that he would be subject to arrest again should
the CCP charge him with another crime. Since being released, Gao
had been incommunicado and was assumed to be under house arrest.
The removal of Gao from his home may suggest that Gao may have
attempted to resume his resistance to CCP abuses or may be evidence
of a change of strategy in the CCP's efforts to silence Gao.