CHINA—Renowned Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and his family are still under strict surveillance in their Beijing home.
On April 9, The Epoch Times received reports regarding the rigid isolation of Gao, which using his own words show “Even birds could not flee from my home.”
Gao was secretly arrested in Shangdong province on August 15, 2006 by the Chinese communist regime. Since then, the outside world has not heard his voice for eight months. On the afternoon of April 6, 2007 Gao managed to break through the communication blockage and make his first successful phone call to his long-time friend and supporter, Hu Jia.
Gao's story—secret kidnapping, torture, and threats to his family and relatives to break his will—has attracted a lot of international media attention. Currently, his home is still under round-the-clock surveillance.
On December 22, 2006, Gao was tried behind closed door and sentenced to three years in prison on a subversion charge with a five-year reprieve and deprival of political rights for one year. After he was released and returned home, his whole family was put under house arrest. In his phone call to Hu Jia, Gao said that over 100 spies, plain clothes and uniformed police, surround his home every day, his home has become a prison, and his family and relatives have become hostages.
According to witnesses who visited Gao's residential area and around Building 11 where Gao's family reside said the whole area is heavily guarded, and it is impossible for an ordinary person to go in. Many plain clothes police are constantly monitoring the residential area, some are even monitoring the area from the top of the building. There are cars spread around the building and the number plates on the cars all begin with “Jing OA”, which is a special classification belonging to the Ministry of Public Security.
One witness said, “There is a curio shopping mall on the north side of the residential area; normally the car park at the mall is very quiet on Mondays, but on April the 9th, there were many cars parked there as well as under Gao's building and all the cars number plates had “Jing OA”—a special category for police.”
The witness continued, “Two cars were parked by the north and south exits facing each other so that they could monitor all people entering and exiting Building 11. The south exit of the building with a through road was blocked off and a sign saying “No Through Road” was erected. There were police guarding the area as well.
A mobile fruit store had been erected near the south exit of the residential area, the vendor, a plain clothes police, actually left the store unattended and slept in the car parked nearby. The location of the store was not really good for business. The fruits on display looked clean and untouched. One of the roads just beside the residential area had a group of patrol security officers resting on the pedestrian path. Gao's building is just behind them.”
According to another witness, the unit on the west side of Gao's building looked very suspicious. There was a car parked nearby with special tinted windows. The people inside the car could watch the outside, but people outside could not see through the window. One white mobile house, which was originally set up by police in 2006 to monitor the area, was still there. One witness described that when walking in the area, one could feel every movement was being watched.
Gao's long time supporter and friend Hu Jia is very worried about Gao's situation. He has appealed to the world in his recent article. He asks “What can we do for the Gao family? Everyday people in Beijing can walk by Gao's home and witness plain-clothes officers all around the community, to be the witnesses of history.”