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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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Lost Chinese dissident Gao Zhisheng emerges from the dark

Posted by Author on March 30, 2010

ANDREW JACOBS, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, March 30, 2010 –

BEIJING:
Gao Zhisheng, the Chinese rights activist who has been missing for more than a year, has reappeared near his home town in northern China.

In a brief phone call, Mr Gao said he was no longer in police custody but he could not give any details of his predicament. ”I’m fine now but I’m not in a position to be interviewed,” he said. ”I’ve been sentenced but released.”

Mr Gao, 44, told Reuters he had been released about six months ago and was at Wutai mountain, beloved of Buddhist pilgrims because of its many shrines. He said he wanted ”a quiet life” and to rejoin his family.

But friends and human rights groups said they remained concerned about his situation since he seemed to be under surveillance and unable to speak freely.

Since Mr Gao disappeared into the custody of public security staff in February last year, the Chinese government has provided a series of contradictory and cryptic explanations of his whereabouts.

During a previous detention in 2006, Mr Gao said he was tortured by his captors. A lawyer and critic of the Chinese government, Mr Gao gained notoriety for his defence of the most marginalised citizens – farmers evicted from their land; members of underground Christian churches; and practitioners of Falun Gong, the outlawed spiritual movement.

In addition to his legal work, activists say Mr Gao probably infuriated the authorities by writing protest letters to China’s top leaders about the persecution of Falun Gong adherents and by publicly discussing the torture he says he endured.

A month before he disappeared his wife and two children evaded round-the-clock surveillance of their Beijing apartment and escaped to Thailand. They were granted asylum by the US and now live in New York.

Mr Gao’s wife, Geng He, told Agence France-Presse: ”I am tremendously relieved that my husband is alive. I just want Zhisheng to be with his family again. My children and I need him.”

The Sydney Morning Herald

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