The group, Human Rights in China, based in New York, said in a statement late on Tuesday that Gao Zhisheng’s younger brother and his father-in-law visited him on Jan. 12, citing Mr. Gao’s wife. …Foreign human rights advocates say they fear for Mr. Gao’s life because there is no word on his well-being or whereabouts for long stretches of time. Foreign governments have condemned China for its harsh treatment of Mr. Gao over the years.
Mr. Gao [left] is a rights lawyer and a Christian who was subjected to long periods of detention and what he called torture by security forces after he took on politically delicate cases. Those cases included defending Chinese whose land had been taken from them and given to developers, as well as persecuted members of Falun Gong, the banned spiritual movement. Mr. Gao was once a celebrated lawyer praised by the state and the governing Communist Party. He renounced his membership in the party in 2005 and denounced the government.