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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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How the Family of A Most Irrepressible Dissident Fled China

Posted by Author on May 9, 2009

By DAVID W. CHEN, New York Times, May 9, 2009 –

Gao Zhisheng
, one of China’s most irrepressible dissidents, began the day of Jan. 9 the same way as most days since security officials had begun watching him around the clock. He and his wife, Geng He, ate a breakfast of soy milk, fried eggs and peanuts. Mr. Gao left the apartment to run some errands.

By the time he returned, his wife and two children were gone. With only the clothes they were wearing, roughly $60 in cash and, out of habit, their keys, the three embarked upon a harrowing odyssey orchestrated by human rights activists that began in the bitter cold of northern Beijing and ended, seven days and some 2,000 miles later, in the humid safety of Thailand.

“I had no time to think,” Ms. Geng, whose children are 16 and 5, said. “I didn’t have a watch. I had no concept of time. All I knew was that we had to move forward. We couldn’t go back.” She spoke during an interview late last month in New York, where she and her children settled after arriving in the United States in March.

Ms. Geng’s tale stands out not just because it involves a cinematic escape, with elements like stalled motorcycles and nonstop travel with little food or sleep. It is remarkable, human rights activists say, because it reveals how China uses family members of dissidents as leverage against them. And it shows the extreme measures a small number of political opponents will take to deny the authorities that leverage. Ms. Geng insists, though, that her husband knew nothing of her plans.

Mr. Gao said in earlier interviews that security officials used threats against his children to extract a humiliating public confession from him in 2006. So the departure of his family gave him greater leeway to challenge the leadership, though at a high cost: he has not been seen or heard from since Feb. 4, when the security forces hauled him away.

His family’s escape upended the way security officials managed the provocative Mr. Gao, a human rights lawyer who has embraced causes including the outlawed spiritual group Falun Gong, displaced urban residents and the Christian underground church. He issued angry manifestos calling for the end of Communist Party rule.

Since his release from prison in 2006, Mr. Gao had been allowed to live a superficially normal life in Beijing. But he was shadowed by plainclothes guards, and he said he felt constrained by the threat of retribution against his family if he violated the terms of his parole.

Though he has not been charged with a new crime, he has vanished altogether since three months ago.

Mr. Gao’s disappearance has become a delicate diplomatic issue ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement on June 4. Laura Tischler, a State Department spokeswoman, said that American diplomats had not yet met with Ms. Geng. But she said that a senior American official discussed the case on March 31 with high-ranking Chinese officials in Beijing, and that State Department officials had raised the case, most recently on April 15, with the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of well-known human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng,” Ms. Tischler said. “We have raised our concerns about Mr. Gao’s whereabouts and well-being repeatedly, both in Washington and in Beijing.”

Congress is watching, too. With Ms. Geng in the gallery, Senator Byron L. Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, saluted her courage during a Senate floor speech on April 23 and warned that Mr. Gao, a “devout Christian,” had been thrust into an “extremely grave” situation.

“There are many today that languish in dark cells, dark cells of Chinese prisons, just because they spoke out to defend the rights of others,” said Mr. Dorgan, who is the chairman of a Congressional commission responsible for monitoring China’s human rights record. “None have done so more than Mr. Gao.”…… (more detals from New York Times)

One Response to “How the Family of A Most Irrepressible Dissident Fled China”

  1. wow..

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