After more than a year missing, prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng made contact with international media and his family earlier this week. Gao was abducted by police in February of 2009 and has been missing since that time. As stated by BBC's Michael Bristow this recent development provides further confusion about Gao's current situation.
In speaking with Gao's friend and fellow human rights lawyer, Li Heping, news outlets indicated Li felt that he was being followed or watched. "I believe he does not have freedom," Li said. "First, when we were speaking, he sounded like he wanted to hang up. He told me that he had friends around him. I'm sure that the people around him are limiting what he can say."
Gao told Reuters that he was living at the Buddhist landmark Wutai mountain. When asked if the location had any significance, Gao responded, "I want to live a quiet life for a while."
"I feel tremendously relieved that my husband is alive," said Gao's wife Geng He in a statement offered by Freedom Now. She continued, "I am so happy that my children were able to speak to him. My children and I have not seen their father since January 2009. We urge the Chinese government to allow Zhisheng to leave the country and be reunited with us in the United States.”
Unfortunately, Gao was not able to state the reason for his detention or when he would be able to see his family again. "It's not that easy," he stated.
For more information leading up to this week's update on Gao, click here.