Date: November 8, 2017
What would you risk for someone in need?
For Shao Zhongguo and Li Fawang, the answer was their freedom. Upon hearing of the plight of Gao Zhisheng (pictured), a renowned human rights lawyer who has been under strict government surveillance since his release in 2014, Li and Shao conducted a perilous rescue. Smuggling Gao out of his home and across the border into the neighboring Shanxi province, they hid him for 23 days, until police in Gao’s home province were desperate enough to dispatch a large number of officers to cross the border and find him.
Unfortunately, they succeeded, and Gao vanished into police custody.
Shao and Li were also apprehended and criminally detained. Authorities recently formalized Shao’s arrest, meaning that he will face trial and possibly a lengthy prison sentence. The Chinese Communist Party has not yet issued his family any legal documents or stated his charges.
Now released, Li reported that China’s Ministry of Public Security had ordered him shackled and failed to provide daily necessities and treatment for his diabetes while in prison. As result, his eye started bleeding, and he could not see.
Gao’s location is still unknown, but he has not lost hope. Earlier this year, he released a book, which was smuggled out of the country by ChinaAid and published in English by the American Bar Association and the Carolina Academic Press, in which he details both his torture at the hands of authorities and his faith that China will one day be free. ChinaAid joins him in looking forward to this future by calling for both Gao and Shao’s immediate and unconditional release.