Gao Zhisheng, a Chinese human rights lawyer, was released today and is now with his brother, Gao Zhiyi, according to unconfirmed reports.

 By MISNA Missionary International Service News Agency

In July, authorities in Shaya Prison where Gao was detained Gao informed his brother that Gao would be released on August 7, but provided no further information. Social media reported that Chinese Gao was released in time and was received by his brother. However, it is unclear whether there are any conditions for his release and whether it will be subject to further restrictions on his freedom. Gao Zhisheng is a well-known Christian human rights lawyer, best known for his work in defense of members of the Falun Gong movement, Christians and other social groups that were persecuted. As a result, the government closed his law office and revoked his license as a lawyer.

In August 2006, Gao was illegally arrested by the police, and December 22, 2006, was sentenced to three years in prison plus a reformation period of five years, on charges of “incitement to subvert state power. “During his period of reformation has been the victim of enforced disappearance and torture six times. In April 2010, Gao disappeared again while visiting his in-laws in Xinjiang. On 16 December 2011, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Gao had violated the terms of his probation and was put back in prison for another three years. Despite repeated requests for visits by his brother, Gao’s relatives were allowed to see him only twice in three years.

“We welcome the news that the rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been released and reunited with his brother. Gao Zhisheng, sometimes called ‘the conscience of China’, went through years of imprisonment, torture and enforced disappearance. We call on the Chinese government to grant full freedom Gao, without further conditions or restrictions on him or his family in China, “said Mervyn Thomas, director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).