The news about China AIDS activist Gao Yaojie being placed under house arrest in order to keep her from leaving the country to receive an award in the US next month (see my last post for more details) have been plastered all over the net. The award is presented by Vital Voices which has Senator Hillary Clinton as one of the honorary chairs so the Senator was quick to press the Chinese officials in the matter.

Until this morning, the confinement of Gao was front page news in the New York Times. But by the end of the day, it has emerged that the authorities changed their stance possibly due to pressure from Senator Clinton. This latest development spread around in a matter of hours and Vital Voices immediately posted the good news on their site.

I am not ready to celebrate until Gao actually picks up the award and returns home successfully. My fear is that even though she is allowed to leave China, the authorities might not let her back in. As an 80-year-old woman, Gao has been making more noise than others much younger than her. I am sure the authorities have a few more tricks to silence her. On the other hand, I believe the news of her situation being widely distributed on the internet has something to do with the positive outcome for the time being.

Related news:

Update (2-21-2007):