CHINA—After the arrest of renowned Chinese human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, the Chinese police would not allow his two brothers to go to Beijing.
The police told the brothers they could not leave their home town in Jia county in Shaanxi province without authorization. The police also warned Gao's oldest brother to not to let his sons get involved in Gao's case again.
Gao has six brothers and sisters and after Gao was arrested, his brothers, sisters and his immediate family were all put under surveillance.
Gao's fourth brother Gao Zhengyi spoke with a reporter on Tuesday (September 5).
Gao Zhengyi said, “They (police) informed us that no one was permitted to go anywhere, unless the police granted permission. Going to Beijing is absolutely impossible. My oldest brother and I had talked about going to Beijing early on, but the police did not allow us to go. They threatened us that if we went, we would be responsible for all the consequences.”
Up to the present time, there has been no contact with the three sons of Gao's oldest brother Gao Zhiyi. September 5 marked four days since Gao Zhiyi's oldest son Gao Huan, and the youngest, Gao Huanlong were abducted by the police. The second son Gao Xian, who tried to deliver the power of attorney for Gao, has been missing since arriving in Yulin in Shanxi province.
Beijing human rights activist Hu Jia told the reporter that Hu talked to Gao Xian on the phone twice before he went missing. Hu Jia said “Gao Xian telegrammed me on two separate occasions, once when he was in Taiyuan on Sunday (September 3) morning, and once when he just arrived in Yulin yesterday morning (September 4).”
The reporter called Gao Xian's father, Gao's oldest brother Gao Zhiyi, on Tuesday afternoon about 1 pm. Below is the transcript of the telephone conversation
Reporter: “Is this Mr. Gao Zhiyi?”
Gao Zhiyi: “Yes.”
Reporter: “How are you, I am the Radio Free Asia reporter (who called you) yesterday.”
Gao Zhiyi: “Sorry, they here are, please call back later.”
Reporter: “Are they National Security Brigade people from Jia County?
Gao Zhiyi: “Seems like them. I have to hang up now.”
A little more than an hour later, the reporter called Gao Zhiyi again, and he again refused the interview.
Gao Zhiyi: “Don't call me anymore, and don't say anything now. I beg you. Please don't call me now…
Later, Gao's fourth brother Gao Zhiyi told the reporter that three National Security Brigade officers threatened Gao Zhiyi.
Gao Zhengyi: “Three of them (national security officers) came and told my oldest brother (Gao Zhiyi) to call his sons back home, and not to stay in Beijing.”
Reporter: “Where is Gao Xian?”
Gao Zhengyi: “We are not sure either. My oldest brother asked them, they said they didn't know.”
Reporter: “How about Gao Huanhe and Gao Huanlong?”
Gao Zhengyi: ” I'm not too sure either. It is true that they were arrested then, but now, we are not sure where they are.”
Reporter: “Is your oldest brother worried for his three sons?”
Gao Zhengyi: “Yes, he is under pressure. The whereabouts of his three sons are unknown to this day… my bet is that the (the authority's) intention is to force them to go home and not to stay in Beijing. He (Gao Zhiyi) has been summoned to the public security bureau today.”
At this point, the reporter called Jia County Public Security Office for more information
Reporter: “About Gao Xian, have you found him?”
Police: “We don't know this guy.”
Reporter: “Is Gao Zhiyi under surveillance?”
Police: “I am not sure.”
Reporter: “You are not sure or you didn't (put Gao Zhiyi under surveillance)?”
Police: “I have nothing to say.”
The reporter called Jia County National Suard Brigade Office, and the Brigade Captain's cellphone, but got no answer.
Yet the overseas support for the rescue of Gao increasing and continues. U.S.-based Broad Press Inc. published Gao Zhisheng's two books, Principal Rights Protection Cases of Private Enterprises in China and God is With Us in This Battle on August 26. A fund-raising sale has started.
Principal Rights Protection Cases of Private Enterprises in China is a collection of a few famous cases defended by Gao, including “North Shanxi Private Petroleum,” “Guangzhou University Forced Demolition,” “Land Acquisition for 2008 Olympics” and others
God is With Us in This Battle is the most complete collection of literary works describing Gao Zhisheng's human rights activities, religious beliefs, ideals, and political position.
There is no doubt the road Gao Zhisheng is walking on is full of difficulty and danger. His fourth brother Gao Zhengyi said “I advised my brother Gao of this, yet he felt that his choice to take this road is correct. What I want to say now is, as long as I can get him out, any sacrifice that is required of me will be worthwhile.”