Gao Zhisheng Alive, Family Members Allowed to Visit

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Gao Zhisheng Alive, Family Members Allowed to Visit
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Added: 28-03-2012
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After 21 months, family members have finally met with the imprisoned Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. It comes after a lengthy battle fought by Gao’s older brother Gao Zhiyi—for information on Gao’s whereabouts and permission to visit him. [Geng He, Wife of Gao Zhisheng]: "At mid-day on March 24th [family members] met Gao Zhisheng for about half an hour. My father spoke to him for ten minutes and his brother for 20 minutes. In talking with my father, Gao mainly asked about my health, and said that we should take more care of my mother. Afterwards, Gao asked my father how his health was. My father said, 'My health is great, I have no problems, now that I have seen you, everything is fine. When this was said, Gao shed tears.'" Gao Zhisheng was one of the top ten lawyers in China. Yet, after handling sensitive human rights cases, the Chinese regime removed his license to practice. In 2005 Gao wrote a series of open letters to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao urging them to end the persecution of Falun Gong and ill treatment of Chinese Christians. He then publically quit the Chinese Communist Party. For these actions, in 2006 Gao received a suspended sentence for “inciting subversion” and has since been under either surveillance, house arrest or in detention. In 2007 Gao sent an open letter to the US Congress urging them to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the letter Gao described the persecution of Falun Gong and torture authorities used against him while in detention. The Chinese regime then stepped up its persecution of Gao, and for the last 21 months no one has seen him. Chinese authorities announced on January 1st that Gao was in prison in Xinjiang. Gao’s wife Geng He told NTD she wouldn’t believe it until her family saw him and raised the possibility that Gao could already be dead. Now Geng’s questions have been answered, but she says there is still a long road ahead. [Geng He, Wife of Gao Zhisheng]: “I slept very soundly. Before, I was always being woken up by bad dreams and slept really badly. But this time I slept very soundly. But when I woke up I felt there was still a heavy weight on my shoulders. The road ahead still requires me to put in tremendous effort. Gao Zhisheng’s difficulties are far from over. I still need to continue speaking out for Gao all the way until the day he is free. Until our family is re-united.” Although Gao was able to meet with family members on Saturday, March 24th, his fate is still unknown.

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