Special Report: Gao Zhisheng Hopes to Reunite with His Family

Special Report: The entire world is appealing and Gao Zhisheng is finally heard
Initial release in Chinese–April 3, 2010
Revised: April 8, 2010

BEIJING–Gao Zhisheng told reporters from the Associated Press on April 7 that he would cease his legal activism in the hopes of reuniting with his family in the future. The reporters captured the first live images of Gao in their discussion, since his arrest in February 2009 (See the AP Report). While international supporters have expressed concern in seeing such a strong figure agree to back down from his position, ChinaAid President Bob Fu says Gao’s decision is understandable and one of strength.
“Gao Zhisheng is a man of integrity and heart. Facing such enormous pressure and knowing that his family needs him, he has chosen to fulfill his duty as a father to his children, and husband to his wife. I understand that decision. He has faced a long and painful separation, and it is a tragedy that he still cannot see his family.”
With regard to Gao’s comments during the meeting with AP reporters, Mr. Fu acknowledges Gao’s words are actually an encouragement to his supporters and fellow Chinese lawyers. “Gao Zhisheng is a man of faith. In his interview, he spoke of others who willing to fight for truth and justice regardless of his personal fate. His testimony is an encouragement to those who respect and admire his courageous work.”
Mr. Fu spoke with Gao Zhisheng personally over the phone the morning of April 6. This was the first direct contact Bob Fu has had with Gao Zhisheng since he spoke with him by phone last January, as Bob was rescuing Gao’s wife and children in Thailand. The conversation brought hope and light for the two men, after more than 400 days of uncertainty and doubt.
Gao shared openly with Bob about his conversation with his daughter Gege in New York. “She told me she felt like God was silent, that He had not heard her prayers,” Gao shared openly, deeply pained by his daughter’s anguish over their prolonged separation. He was thankful that his children were persistent in their faith, but expressed concern for his family’s safety and well-being and his pressing desire to be reunited with his family.
He informed Bob that he had just returned to his Beijing apartment from his guarded location in Shanxi. Abandoned for more than a year, Gao was saddened by the thick layer of dust covering the apartment and the emptiness of the rooms. Gao further reported he had just recovered from a racking cough for more than a month, but was not able to give any further details about his physical condition.
“Gao Zhisheng and his family have suffered deeply from the long separation,” said Pastor Fu. “Despite the persecution, he continues to trust the Lord.”
Mr. Fu expressed ChinaAid’s commitment to supporting Gao in his decision. “By allowing us to speak with Gao Zhisheng, the Chinese government has shown they have been forced to respond to the international outrage and pressure on Gao Zhisheng’s behalf. Yet, Gao is still not able to speak or move freely. We urge the Chinese Government now to allow Gao Zhisheng to be reunited with his family. It is his right, according the Chinese law, to be able to see them, since he has broken no laws during his time of probation.”
ChinaAid thanks the international community for their support of Gao Zhisheng and his family and ask for continued prayer on their behalf. We urge the Chinese Government to allow Gao Zhisheng to reunite with his family.

“The Entire World is Appealing and Gao Zhisheng is Finally Heard”
– In late March 2010, Pastor Bob Fu, president of US-based China Aid Association, along with the Chinese Christian human rights attorney Li Baiguang, went to visit Christian churches, members of the EU and British Parliaments, and international human rights organizations in Europe. As they were praying and appealing for the persecuted Chinese Christians, suddenly there came the exciting and comforting news: On March 27, 2010, the world famous case involving Gao Zhisheng, the Christian human rights attorney, broke the silence and worries which have lasted over 400 days.  Pastor Bob Fu confirmed: Brother Gao Zhisheng is still alive! On March 28, Gao Zhisheng’s phone number was suddenly published on the Internet. Pastor Fu and several Christian human rights attorneys learned that Gao Zhisheng was at Mt. Wutai and Gao himself said his health is “pretty good.”  When asked what has really happened between February 4th of last year and now, Gao replied: “At this time, I don’t want to talk about these things.” Relatives understand the situation Brother Gao is in.  He still can’t speak his mind. He is still being watched or guarded, and he is not able to move freely. 1) Gao Zhisheng suddenly choked and sobbed.
Before the morning of February 4, 2009, the voice of Gao Zhisheng was seldom stopped for too long. In 2001, Gao Zhisheng was praised as being among the “Ten Most Honorable Attorneys in the Nation” by China’s Ministry of Justice and CCTV.  On November 24, 2005, Brother Fan Yafeng led Attorney Gao Zhisheng in making the decision of accepting the Lord and in praying: “I am willing to live all my life for the glory of the Lord and I am willing to fight for the love and justice in China.”  For several years since then, Gao Zhisheng defended the persecuted Christians, appealed for the imprisoned human rights defenders, fought for the justice of the disadvantaged social groups, defended the tortured Falun Gong practitioners and political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. With his knowledge, conscience and superb bravery, he became one of the most prominent human rights defenders and human rights fighters.  His magnificent performance in Cai Zhuohua case, Zheng Yichun case, Xu Fangping case, Xu Wanping case, Zhu Jiuhu case and Taishi Village Incident has left a very deep impression on people.  He became a Christian and has since abided by the will of God: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. (Micah 6:8). Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.”  (Psalm 82:3)
From December 2004 to December 2005, he sent a public letter to the highest leaders in China, demanding them to stop persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.  In November 2005, the Beijing Shengzhi Law Office where he worked as the director was suspended by Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice.  From then on, Pastor Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association had begun to show concerns on Brother Gao and had followed up with reports.
According to Brother Gao, starting from February 2006, under the order of the Political and Judiciary Commission under the Central Party Committee, a special panel was formed with people from public security organs, procuratorial organs and people’s courts and security agencies.  The panel holds a routine meeting once every Monday and each routine meeting was presided over by the Political and Judiciary Commission under the Central Party Committee.  Among the documents they collect are intelligence from both China and abroad on Gao Zhisheng’s case and the latest “trend in enemy’s situation” and they give out latest instructions.  This special panel will not stop operating because of the sentence on Gao Zhisheng.  It will go on with its operation on a long-term basis.  It will exhaust all its resources and means in containing Gao Zhisheng’s family and it will never let Gao Zhisheng’s issue become a long-term problem.
On December 22, 2006, Attorney Gao Zhisheng was sentenced to three years of imprisonment on charge of “inciting the subversion of the state power” with five years of probation and one year of deprivation of his political rights. In May 2007, Gao Zhisheng won the Courageous Advocacy Award from the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and other human rights awards.  In September 2007, Gao Zhisheng was again secretly arrested and suffered such tortures as having a toothpick inserted into his penis.  On November 28, 2007, Gao Zhisheng was besieged in his Beijing house where he wrote the article “Dark Night, Black Hood, GangsterKidnap” in which he described how he was kidnapped.
He exposed the tortures he went through such as being hit by electric batons by the secret police, being prodded on the penis with bamboo sticks, etc.  This aroused the attention of media in America, France, Germany and other countries.  On February 8, 2009, Pastor Bob Fu was authorized to publish Gao’s article to the international community both in English and Chinese.  In early 2009, Gao Zhisheng’s wife Geng He and his children could no longer endure the persecution by the authorities and fled to Thailand with the help of their friends.  When Pastor Bob Fu learned this, he went to Thailand to help rescue them.  While in Thailand, Pastor Bob Fu and Brother Gao talked on the phone.  Gao said resolutely that he would stay in China to promote the construction of judicial justice in China.  On the morning of February 4, 2009, Brother Gao disappeared after he was kidnapped.  His voice stopped and was not heard for over 400 days.  On March 11, 2009, Gao Zhisheng’s wife and children arrived in the US.
2) The whole world is appealing
Though Gao Zhisheng’s voice disappeared, the voice showing concern for Gao Zhisheng became instead stronger and stronger.  The call from the Lord Jesus fell on China Aid Association: “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. … Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  People show concern for the life of Brother Gao Zhisheng.  They seek the will of God and know that the Holy Spirit can call upon the Christians in China and the rest of the world to pray earnestly for brothers and sisters who are suffering or who are imprisoned for the sake of righteousness.
On March 25, 2009, China Aid Association launched the signature website “freegao.com” where people can petition for the release of Gao Zhisheng by signing their names.  By mid March 2010, around 130, 000 people had signed with their real names, including those from mainland China, Hungary, Sudan, Africa and many Asian countries.  All the world was showing concern for Brother Gao Zhisheng.  Bob Fu met some Christians in Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland.  They told Pastor Fu: “Since Brother Gao Zhisheng went missing, we have been praying for him every day.  Many people far in Northern Ireland show their concern for the fate of Attorney Gao.”
On April 23, 2009, US senator Byron Dorgan made a statement in the Senate on the continual disappearance of Gao Zhisheng.  On the same day, Geng He, Gao Zhisheng’s wife wrote an open letter to the US Congress.  On April 24, President Dorgan delivered a speech in the US Senate in an attempt to rescue Gao Zhisheng.  On April 28 and April 30, China Aid Association delivered a petition respectively to the US Secretary of State and the Chinese Embassy in the US in an attempt to rescue Gao Zhisheng.  On May 15, the day that marked the 100th day since the disappearance of Gao Zhisheng, four US senators wrote a letter to Hu Jintao: “The disappearance of Mr. Gao seems to have violated the Chinese law and the international law.” “We urge your government to let the public concerned about this issue know his whereabouts and guarantee that Mr. Gao has the right of not being detained at will and we also urge you to let him be released.”
On June 13, 2009, the day that marks the 128th day since Gao Zhisheng was kidnapped, Zhou Wenzhong, the Chinese ambassador in the US, facing the ever growing pressure from the people of righteousness all over the world who demand that the authorities disclose the truth on the kidnapping of the Christian attorney Gao Zhisheng, gave a formal reply for the first time but he tried to cover the truth behind the kidnap of Gao Zhisheng.  In his letter to Byron Dorgan, Chairman of Congressional-Executive Commission on China: “Gao Zhisheng has been sentenced to five years’ probation under suspended sentence of three years’ imprisonment.  Currently, he is serving his probation. The Public Security Bureau hasn’t taken any compulsory actions on him.”
On July 9, 2009, seven Chinese human rights attorneys made a statement via China Aid Association in which they point out that in a country where rule of law is far from being realized and where people live in fears, the work and life of human rights attorneys must be full of bumps.  Just because we engage in the defense of human rights, the government agencies not only fail to understand the significance of our existence, they have also concluded that we are the enemies of their domestic security and protection.  Some of us have been beaten and kidnapped.
On July 28, US Congressional leaders once again wrote a letter to Zhou Wenzhong, Chinese ambassador to the US, on the continual disappearance of Gao Zhisheng, demanding that he once again disclose the situation on Gao Zhisheng.  On January 14, 2010 (Thursday), Gao Zhiyi, the elder brother of Gao Zhisheng said during a telephone interview with the Associated Press that he went to look for the policeman in Beijing who took away Gao Zhisheng and asked him about Gao Zhisheng’s whereabouts.  That policeman told him that Gao Zhisheng “got lost on the road on September 25, 2009 and is nowhere to be found.”
China Aid Association and the people of the entire world who are concerned about Gao Zhisheng worried very much and they published the information to people of various circles that they “are deeply concerned about the safety of Gao Zhisheng.  They pointed out: It is impossible for the Chinese government and its police force to let Brother Gao Zhisheng “get lost” for no apparent reasons.  We refuse to continue to listen to rumors and lies.  We sincerely hope that the relevant authorities can tell people the truth out of their conscience.  We firmly believe God knows everything!  “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” (Psalm 139:8).”  They said in explicit terms that China Aid Association will pray just as in the past for Brother Gao Zhisheng and do its best to help his family members. We hope the sin of “shedding innocent blood” will not fall on certain rulers.
On January 21, 2010, Ma Chaoxue, the spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry gave this reply to the media: “The relevant judicial authorities have decided on this case, and we should say this person, according to Chinese law, is where he should be.”  By February 3, Gao Zhisheng had been reported missing for a year.  To respond to Ma Zhaoxu’s evasive and irresponsible answer, China Aid Association appealed to all Christians and peace-loving people to stand out and refuse to continue to tolerate such a phenomenon of disregarding the international human rights.  It requested all people to look for Gao Zhisheng, write letters or send emails to UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon and contribute their loving heart for the peace of the world.
Responses from various places of the world poured into the world and China like a torrent.  On February 2, 2010, US House representatives nominated Gao Zhisheng and other people for Nobel Peace Prize.  On February 4, people in Hong Kong demonstrated in front of the gate of Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, protesting and demanding that China tell people about the current situation of Gao Zhisheng.  On February 12, people in Chinese embassy in the US told John Kamm, executive director of US-China Dui Hua Foundation, that Attorney Gao Zhisheng was “working in Urumqi” and that he kept contact with his family.  However, Gao Zhisheng’s family said that Gao Zhisheng’s wife still has not got into contact with him.
On February 16, China Aid Association published an article “Walking with Brother Gao Zhisheng persecuted for his righteousness” to fight back on the trick of the relevant authorities in  spreading false information.  The article points out: the relevant authorities who are persecuting Gao Zhisheng have again used their pawns to spread such false information via the Internet that “Mr. Gao is currently working in Urumqi in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”  In the meantime, they concocted the information that “Brother Gao has already got into contact with his wife in China and his relatives.”  The article refuted these lies and concoctions that aim at confusing people and diverting the attention of the international community.  It openly states “We are walking together with Brother Gao Zhisheng who is being persecuted!”  In the meantime, it reminds people of the truth delivered by God in Ecclesiastes: “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.  And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there…There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler.”  We appeal to Christian churches all over the world to continue to pray for Brother Gao Zhisheng.  May the will of the omnipotent God be realized!
3) Gao Zhisheng is at last heard
After Gao was kidnapped by the police in his home town, the information on Brother Gao Zhisheng has come from the press spokesman, the police and other source.  They have different stories.  A search in Google with the keyword Gao Zhisheng produced about 390,000 results.  People from different places have different voices.  The voice missing here is the voice of Gao Zhisheng himself.  For two to three months, Pastor Bob Fu felt very miserable for Brother Gao and he prayed for him day and night in seeking the guidance from the Holy Spirit.  Many churches in Europe, the EU, human rights defenders and could not endure the torture of silence.  In late March 2010, Pastor Bob Fu and the Chinese Christian human rights defender Attorney Li Baiguang visited Europe on invitation and met with people from various circles who are concerned about Gao Zhisheng and the persecuted churches in China.
Bob Fu pointed out that people in many churches in Europe and high-ranking officials had these four questions on Gao’s case: Where in the world was Gao Zhisheng?  What was his legal status now?  How was his health? What has happened in the past 400 some days?  None of the people could accept the current explanations of the authorities.  On March 22 and March 23, Bob Fu and Li Baiguang respectively met with Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the European Parliament, chairman of Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, president of the European Parliament and senior advisors in foreign policies.  Besides, they also met with members of the European Parliament of various parties from Finland, Latvia and Holland.  All the people they have met with, no matter whether they are members of the European Parliament, members of the European Commission or senior civil servants in foreign policies of Council of Europe, have showed great concerns on the current whereabouts of Attorney Gao Zhisheng, especially the people in charge of Chinese issues in the European Commission and people in charge of human rights groups.  Bob Fu said: “All the people with whom we have discussed these issues with, no matter whether they are legislators, executives or policy-makers, agree that it is totally unacceptable for the Chinese government to refuse to tell people the current whereabouts and his legal status of the attorney Gao Zhisheng and what has happened to him in the past 400-some days. 
At last, the relevant authorities could no longer deny the truth or continue to tell lies.  They finally let Gao Zhisheng speak within a small space they have control over.  Bob Fu who was visiting here and there in Europe finally got the reliable information: Gao Zhisheng’s voice was real and Brother Gao is still alive, but he is not free.  Brother Li Heping, the Christian human rights attorney is a good friend of Brother Gao.  He has talked with Gao Zhisheng on the phone the other day.  Attorney Li said that Brother Gao never said such words as “he was released six months ago.”  He asked me how is my practice.  I replied that the judicial system in China is going backward and has degenerated to the 1978 level.  I asked him why he didn’t even know this.  You also asked me how is my practice.  He said: “If I knew it, I wouldn’t have asked you about it.”  This possibly means his source of information is shielded.  This also means he hasn’t had contacts with the friends around him and he hasn’t had contact with his wife either.  Another point is that our phone call lasted only two or three minutes.  At the time, he said: “Oh, I’ll call you back when it is convenient.  Now I have something to do with some friends.”  Then he wanted to hang up the phone.  I’m sure somebody nearby was giving him a hint and didn’t want him to say more.  Otherwise, he and I are very good friends.  He must have a lot to talk with me.”
No matter what situation Brother Gao is in, we at least know now that he is still alive for which Pastor Bob Fu is comforted.  He said happily: “The recording of Gao Zhisheng’s phone calls with a few reporters and friends is real.  This means he is still alive.  We welcome this act by the Chinese government.”  Pastor Bob Fu told the brothers and sisters in Christ: “By the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, we can do everything. The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Whether Brother Gao is an important man or an unimportant man in Christ, whether he is imprisoned or free, whether he is being trained or is working for the Lord, we will always love him.  May the grace of Jesus Christ, the benevolence of our heavenly father and the omnipotence and sanctification of the Holy Spirit be always with Brother Gao Zhisheng and all of the rest of you.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.chinaaid.org

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