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Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

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Prison Bars Brother of Imprisoned Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng from Visiting

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

China Aid Association

(Shaya County, Xinjiang―Jan. 11, 2012) The prison in remote western China where Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng is now imprisoned on Tuesday refused to let his older brother meet him, ChinaAid has learned.

Gao’s brother, Gao Zhiyi, who had traveled several thousand miles to reach the desolate Shaya Prison, is now waiting in Shaya county for permission to see his brother, who had disappeared into official custody for more than 20 months before the Chinese government announced last month that he was being sent to prison to serve a three-year sentence.

Accompanied by Gao Zhisheng's father-in-law and two sisters-in-law, Gao Zhiyi arrived at the prison after an arduous overland journey from inland China only to learn that no visits were permitted. Prison authorities told him that Gao was "not willing to see his relatives" and he is also under a three-month observation period. If he is deemed to have been cooperative during that period, he would be allowed visitors.

Gao’s attorney Mo Shaoping said that this is an illegitimate requirement with no basis in Chinese law. Gao’s wife, Geng He, told ChinaAid that Gao Zhiyi would stay in Shaya county and wait, in hopes that the authorities will relent and let him see his brother.

“After Gao’s disappearance into the hands of China’s security agents for more than 20 months, to now deny Gao a meeting with a family member as the Chinese New Year season approaches is not only illegal but also inhumane,” said ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu. “Obviously the Chinese government has to explain to both Gao’s family and the international community what they are trying to cover up about Gao’s current condition.”

ChinaAid calls on the free world to lodge protests with the Chinese government about this latest development so that the Chinese authorities will allow the two Gao brothers to meet.

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