China: Police in China’s Shaanxi Deny Rights Lawyer in Their Custody

November 20, 2017

Human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, in undated photo taken during house arrest in Beijing.

One hundred days after prominent rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng went missing from house arrest, police in the northern province of Shaanxi have denied claims from ruling Chinese Communist Party village officials that they are holding him.

A police officer who answered the phone at the Jia county police department on Monday was unable to answer questions on Gao’s whereabouts when contacted by RFA on Monday.

“Ah yes, right, I don’t really know, because it’s not our case,” the officer said, when asked to confirm Gao’s whereabouts. “This isn’t a criminal police matter.”

Asked who is overseeing Gao’s detention, the officer replied: “The state security police.”

Asked if Gao is in the custody of state security police, the officer said: “Uh-huh,” before hanging up the phone.

Gao, 53, has been incommunicado after disappearing on Aug. 13 from his previous house arrest in a cave dwelling in Jia county’s Xiaoshibanqiao village.

Last week, a rights group monitoring Gao’s case said he is being held in secret police custody in a darkened room with no access to the outside, but without specifying which branch of China’s police are holding him.

“They stripped me”: A human rights lawyer on her year of secret detention in China

A Record of 709


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