Chinese Christian Human Rights Activist Monitored by Policemen for Over 70 Days

The renowned Chinese Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng was reported to be tightly followed by the Chinese policemen in Beijing for over 70 days.
( [email protected] ) Jan 17, 2006 04:03 PM EST

The renowned Chinese Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng was reported to be tightly followed by the Chinese policemen in Beijing for over 70 days.

Gao and his family members have been under constant surveillance by plain-clothes police officers since last October. Last Friday, the Chinese police have detained him for an hour after he tried to film plain-clothes policemen tailing him with his video camera, according to Reuters.

The tight monitoring of the plain-clothes policemen has seriously affected Gao’s social and personal lives. Gao told the New-York based newspaper Epoch Times that he was going out with a few friends to have lunch at noon last Friday and he found that some plain-clothes police were videotaping him. Therefore, he took out his video camera to videotape them.

However, the plain-clothes policeman being filmed called 111 to summon uniformed police and then he was arrested and brought to the Yayuncun Police Station, the Epoch Times reported.

According to Epoch Times, Gao has tried to ask the police to stop following him in the police station. The police at the police station said they could do nothing about it. Gao was released one hour later.

On the next day, according to Epoch Times, the policemen have also followed Gao tightly when he went out to lunch with his wife and his friend, and even when he went shopping with his wife in big shopping center. Over 30 of them were around the shopping area and they have teamed up with the security personnel in the shopping area.

Gao has come under fire after he presented himself as one of the leading attorneys in the court in the high-profile case of the Beijing house church pastor Cai Zhuohua last year.

Cai was charged for running "illegal business practices" and handed a prison sentence of three years after police found a large number of Bibles and religious materials in a church warehouse. Despite of repeated appeals, the verdict remains the same.

Gao is a Christian and attends the Beijing Ark House Church, located at Chaoyang District in Beijing. His church was being targeted by the police for the last two consecutive Sunday worships as well. On Sunday, two uniformed policemen and two plain-clothed agents raided the church when some 20 to 30 believers were attending the Sunday worship, according to the U.S.-based Chinese Christian persecution watchdog China Aid Association (CAA).

The Church is very well-known for attended by many famous writers and lawyers. Besides Gao, human rights defense lawyer Li Baiguang, freelance writer Bei Cun and Professor Jiao Guobiao of Beijing University, are also members of the Church.

Despite of the unreasonable persecution by the Chinese police, Gao stated to the Epoch Times that all his actions are completely legal and fulfill the responsibility of an attorney.

In addition, Gao’s short arrest last Friday has caused widespread reactions both inside and outside of China. According to Epoch Times, he received interview requests from over 100 overseas media by Saturday morning, including New Tang Dynasty Television, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America (VOA), Agence France Presse (AFP), BBC, Japan's Kyodo News, French Radio International (RFI), the New York Times , German Communications Center, and Sound of Hope.

"If you were ever arrested by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government, then China would be creating international news!" reporters told Gao.

Christians in Hebei and Anhui Provinces said they contacted over 600 people and that they have been continuously spreading the news about Gao’s arrest by the police. They encourage people to step up and protest against the CCP's persecution, according to Epoch Times.