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Well-known human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was released from prison in China’s far west Xinjiang Uyghur Automonous Region into controlled freedom on 7 August. Gao is now staying with family in Xinjiang province, but is under heavy surveillance.

Gao was first detained in 2006 and gave graphic accounts of being tortured and repeatedly beaten when he briefly resurfaced in 2010, only to be jailed again in 2011 on charges of inciting subversion.

As well as losing many teeth, Gao’s daily ration of cabbage and a single slice of bread have caused him to lose 20kg in weight, according to a statement by US-based advocacy group, Freedom Now. The group said he had been confined to a cramped cell, with very little light, and had been largely deprived of human contact until his release.

Gao’s wife Ms He has urged the Chinese government to allow Gao to seek treatment in the United States, where she and their two children have been living since 2009.

As a prominent human rights lawyer, Gao had defended China’s Christians and other minority groups. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008 for his work.

Sources: BBC, China Aid, Sydney Morning Herald

Prayer Points

  • Praise the Lord for this answer to prayer for Gao and his family.
  • Pray the Lord will minister to him and fully restore him physically, emotionally and spiritually. Pray he will soon be reunited with his wife and children.
  • Pray for the many Christians in Chinese prisons; ask God to strengthen them and help them to endure their current circumstances. Ask Him to give them a joy that can only come from knowing the Lord Jesus.