Arrested: February 2009
Since 2005, Gao has been repeatedly arrested, imprisoned and severely tortured by Chinese authorities, mostly for his human rights work. In 2006, he and a group of prominent human rights lawyers created the Association of Human Rights Attorneys for Chinese Christians. That same year, Gao was sentenced to five years of probation for inciting "subversion of the state." After serving three years in prison, Gao was supposedly released on probation but he disappeared for extended periods of time.