Friday 28 July 2017

Missing lawyer resurfaces with cryptic phone calls

Paul Peachey in Beijing

ONE of China's most prominent human-rights lawyers, who went missing a year ago, resurfaced mysteriously yesterday with a series of cryptic telephone calls from a Buddhist mountain retreat.

Gao Zhisheng, a prominent dissident, said he was "free at present" but refused to say exactly where he was in northern China amid speculation that he was being followed.

"I just want to be in peace and quiet for a while and be reunited with my family," Mr Gao, whose wife and children fled to the US just before he went missing, said in one telephone call.

"Most people belong with family," he added. "I have not been with mine for a long time. This is a mistake and I want to correct this mistake."

Mr Gao was one of a new breed of civil-liberties lawyers who took on sensitive cases involving underground Christians and the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement before a series of run-ins with the authorities.

He vanished on February 4 last year while out walking in his home town in central China. (© Independent News Service)

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