GAO Report on Vacant Properties November 2011

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They hope publicizing his account will place renewed pressure on the government to disclose Gao's whereabouts and refocus international attention diverted to Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned dissident writer awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Weary-looking rather than his normally forceful self, he said that over those 14 months police had stashed him in hostels, farm houses, apartments and prisons in Beijing, his native province of Shaanxi and the far western region of Xinjiang, where he lived for many years.

Weeks of inactivity were punctuated by outbursts of brutality. He was hooded several times. His captors tied him up with belts, made him sit motionless for up to 16 hours and told him his children were having nervous breakdowns. They threatened to kill him and dump his body in a river. You're a beast,'" Gao said his police tormentors told him in September Excessive even for China's often abusive police, the treatment given to Gao highlights the authoritarian government's willingness to breach its own laws to silence critics.

Gao had been jailed on subversion charges in for his increasingly public activism. But unlike most convicted subversives, Gao was released, his three-year sentence suspended. Watched constantly, he had run-ins with police who harassed him and his family.


His wife and two children fled China, escorted by human traffickers overland to Southeast Asia. Gao in April said that police seemed intent on casting him into a limbo that kept him at their whim. You're not good enough for that. Whenever we want you to disappear, you will disappear. Police in Beijing, Shaanxi and Xinjiang - locations where Gao said he was held - declined comment on his current predicament as well as his past treatment.

As far as we know, he did stay in Xinjiang to visit his relatives for a period of time," said a Ms. Li from the information office of the Xinjiang Public Security Department. Gao described snippets of his disappearance to close friends who corroborated parts of the account he gave the AP. But there are also discrepancies in accounts among Gao and his supporters. During his disappearance, Gao's family and human rights groups said his whereabouts were unknown.

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But Gao said in the April interview that he had a few moments of contact with relatives: a minute visit with his older brother near their family home in June ; a visit with his mother-in-law at his in-laws' in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, a few weeks later; and later a furtive phone conversation with his wife that she said was via a policeman's mobile phone. Gao told the AP that he wanted to be reunited with his family and would even go abroad, but rejected a U.

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Turner of Freedom Now said accounts by political prisoners under authoritarian regimes often contain inconsistencies, frequently to protect themselves, family or others. Gao said that in February , police first spirited Gao from Beijing to Yulin, a poor area of barren yellow hills where he grew up.

ChinaAid: AP Exclusive: Missing Chinese lawyer told of abuse

Within weeks, police brought him back to Beijing by car, covering his head with a pair of underwear. There, he said he was kept in a room with lights on 24 hours a day, its windows boarded up, and fed rotten, dirty cabbage twice a day.

On April 28, he said, six plainclothes officers bound him with belts and put a wet towel around his face for an hour, bringing on a feeling of slow suffocation. Two months later, he was sent back to Yulin and then on to Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, where his treatment improved.

He said he was occasionally allowed evening strolls, police escorts trailing behind, during the several months he was kept in the Wild Horse apartment block on Urumqi's outskirts. The most brutal period of Gao's disappearance began with a Sept. A group of Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority group, approached him and punched him in the stomach. They handcuffed him, taped his mouth and eyes shut and took him into the upstairs room of a building, beginning a week of mistreatment that culminated with the 48 hours of pistol-whipping and other abuse.

Earlier that summer, communal violence erupted between Uighurs and members of the Han Chinese majority, and the city was tense. Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Profile Join. Log in Join. Oga Aquarium Gao.


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