January 14, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Since mid-December, 2009, ominous rumors have circulated about Gao Zhisheng, hinting that he has died after brutal torture in prison. However, no reports have been confirmed, and the Chinese government continues to refuse comment on his condition and whereabouts.
A friend of ChinaAid in New York recently notified us about a serious development with Gao’s daughter, Gege. Gege had been reportedly “pale and tired-looking” for months, fearing her father would be killed in prison. After hearing a rumor of Gao’s death just before Christmas, Gege became so emotionally distraught, she was forced to be hospitalized. She remains fragile and under medical care in a New York hospital.
On Thursday, January 14th, Gao’s brother Zhiyi said he had gone to Beijing searching out the policeman who originally detained Gao Zhisheng back in February, 2009. The policeman told him that Attorney Gao allegedly “got lost and went missing while out on a walk” on September 25, 2009. Gao’s wife has refused to comment, but was reported to be extremely upset when she heard the news.
This is the first time a Chinese government official has hinted that they no longer have Gao Zhisheng in their custody, leading ChinaAid to believe Gao’s condition has taken a turn for the worse.
“It is totally unacceptable for the Chinese government to lose track of their own prisoner,” said President of ChinaAid Bob Fu. “It is absolutely clear that he was forcibly taken from his home in February 2009. Nearly a year later, the Chinese government now says they do not have him.”
Gao Zhisheng was last heard from via a phone call to Gao Zhiyi in early September, 2009. He was able to say “I’m ok” before the line went dead.
Though the rumors of death cannot be confirmed with no public statement from the Chinese government, Bob Fu remains extremely concerned. “We have every reason to suspect that the Chinese government has something very serious to hide. Gao’s family has every right to know what happened to him. It is unbelievable that a high security prisoner would go missing while “out on a walk,” without suspecting that there is a major cover up of his condition.”
ChinaAid calls on the international community to hold the Chinese government accountable for their treatment of Gao Zhisheng. To join ChinaAid’s efforts to make the truth about Gao Zhisheng know, visit www.FreeGao.com.
Tracy Oliver, Media Coordinator
Tel: (267) 210-8278, or [email protected]
Mark Shan, CAA Spokesperson
Tel: (267) 205-5210, or [email protected]
Website: www.ChinaAid.org and www.MonitorChina.org
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