AIDS Activist Under House Arrest Again

By Lu Jianhui, Central News Agency
April 22, 2007 Updated: April 22, 2007

HONG KONG—Retired doctor Gao Yaojie of Henan Province, who is named as China's first civil AIDS spokesperson, has been put under house arrest again when she returned to Henan from the U.S. after receiving an award a report states. She sighs mournfully about herself. She believes that death is a relief and she wants to die on the same day that her husband passed away.

The current issue of Asia Weekly published an interview with Dr. Gao that revealed she was placed under house arrest again after she traveled to the U.S. to receive the “Global Women Leaders Award” and returned home to Zhengzhou City. Even her visitors are monitored and have to register.

Dr. Gao said, “I am now being monitored and have become blind, deaf and dumb. The authorities' actions are an outrage. Once I die, they will be relieved. However, I want to let everyone know that my death is due to those corrupt officials.”

Dr. Gao took out a cell phone she had been using for years; the message “unregistered SIM card” appeared on it. An hour ago she received a phone call from her younger sister in the U.S. who told Dr. Gao that she had made at least ten phone calls to Dr. Gao's home, but no one answered. Dr. Gao was always at home, but her phone did not ring.

The report said, “It was only then that Gao realized she was being monitored by the Henan local government again and they were trying to block her from having contact with the outside world.”

Once before, the Henan authorities sent ten policemen to surround her home. They cut off her phone lines to stop her contact with outsiders in order to prevent her from going to the U.S. to accept the award.

Dr. Gao went to accept her award on February 26.

When she returned to Zhengzhou her phone could be used at first, but soon after it was cut off. Dr. Gao said, “I am not so optimistic regarding the problem of AIDS in China; I don't know what it will be like in the future. I have put my life into it.”

The report didn't explain how they were able to conduct the interview with Dr. Gao during her house arrest.