Long-time AIDS activist Dr. Gao Yaojie was not allowed to travel to Beijing to apply for a visa in order to visit the US in March for the Vital Voices‘ Global Leadership Awards. The annual event honors courageous women leaders from around the world and Dr. Gao is to be one of the honorees. She has been trapped in her home since the beginning of this month. She posted on her blog describing the police activities outside but the blog post has since disappeared. China Digital Times publicized her situation with a rough translation of her blog post.

This is not the first time Gao was not allowed to leave China to receive an award. The Global Health Council selected her for the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in 2001 and then in 2003, she was given the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation based in Philippines (Gao’s response to the award). She could not travel out of the country for either occasions so it is not a surprise that she is experiencing the same fate again. During a regularly scheduled Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference on February 6th, the press inquired about the reports of Gao being placed under house arrest. Spokeswoman Jiang Yu replied that she was not aware of those reports. Earlier today, another news report emerged that Communist Party officials visited Gao at home to demonstrate good will before Chinese New Year.

A four-part video about Gao was posted on YouTube this week. She has also appeared in the final episode of the PBS series, China from the Inside that was broadcasted last month.

Related news and links:

YouTube videos: Gao Yaojie, part 1-4

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