Grace Gao

Grace Gao

Grace Gao is the daughter of Gao Zhisheng, a dissident Chinese human rights lawyer who has been under house arrest since 2014. Gao Zhisheng is known for defending human rights activists and persecuted religious minorities; as a result he has been continually attacked by the Chinese government. When Grace was just 12 years old, her father was detained and tortured while the rest of the family was beaten by the police. Gao was escorted to school every day by four policemen who followed her everywhere she went. In 2009, her father was disappeared and imprisoned by the Chinese state. At this time, Gao was prohibited by the government to attend school, whereupon her mother decided to smuggle the family out of China and escape to Thailand. The family currently lives in the U.S. and Gao is enrolled in university in California. She has spoken around the world to promote her father’s memoir, “A China More Just,” and advocate for his release.