Since China’s human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was given a suspended prison sentence last December, the public has not heard directly from him. Around the turn of the New Year, there were some reports that he and his family were expelled from Beijing immediately following his release from detention. Then in February, Amnesty International‘s update on its previous Urgent Action for Gao explained that although he has been reunited with his family, they are under “under close surveillance by the authorities.”

Finally last week, Gao broke his silence and called activist Hu Jia by phone. Hu recorded the conversation which was then exposed to the public through The Epoch Times. The recording was posted online along with a transcript in the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times and there were also two corresponding English articles covering the conversation between the two activists and Gao’s reading of a letter he wrote to Hu. During this conversation, Gao explained that his home is surrounded by over one hundred police. His family of four is constantly monitored. He realized that his attempts to contact the outside world would cause him more trouble but he would risk being sent to prison in exchange for improvement of his family’s living condition.

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