Fears that Mr Gao had been killed for speaking out about his previous mistreatment were heightened by reports last week that a policeman had told his brother he had ”gone missing” on September 25.
The comment was widely interpreted as a euphemism for his death. But a well-placed source in the security apparatus told the Herald: ”Gao is still alive at present … he’s not missing.”
The source said his organisation knew where Mr Gao was staying but was not free to say. He gave no indication of Mr Gao’s situation, condition or prospects.
The Herald has come across several cases where police have falsely told relatives that detainees had been killed, apparently as a form of emotional harassment.