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The Story of Gao Zhisheng

Gao Zhisheng, one of China's most prominent rights lawyers, was released from prison on Aug. 7th but is not yet free from official surveillance and control.

"I spoke to my husband for the first time in four years... I could tell that he wasn't the same. I am deeply concerned that he has been seriously tortured." —Geng He, wife of Gao Zhisheng

Gao Zhisheng has been held at Shaya Prison in the remote Xinjiang region since 2011. According to officials, his prison term will end on August 7th. Mr. Gao’s family and supporters have been demanding his immediate, unconditional release.

August 7th is the last day on which this should happen. If Chinese authorities does not grant Mr. Gao his complete freedom on August 7th, it’ll only prove once again the contempt with which they hold towards their own laws.


Born in a cave with only stars to tell time, Gao Zhisheng overcomes incredible odds to become one of China’s top attorneys. The people call him “the Conscience of China.” But then, in the eyes of the Communist Party, his pursuit of justice goes too far.


After speaking out against taboo human rights abuses, Gao is abducted, tortured. Secret police hold his wife and children hostage. In a heart-wrenching dilemma, Gao is forced to choose between his lifelong quest for justice and his love for his family. Which path will he take? And what price will he have to pay?


A story of cruelty, courage and compassion, this film is a must-see for anyone wishing to understand the tensions bubbling below the surface of today’s China—or to meet one of the most noble freedom fighters of our time.