We can all breathe a sigh of relief now... Reuters managed to track down human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng who is currently at a Buddhist retreat in Wutai mountain, in Shanxi Province.
He is apparently well and did not answer too many questions by cell phone in a strained interview that Reuters hinted he might be under police surveillance.
"I want to live a quiet life for a while," said Gao. Asked if he planned to join his family in the United States, Gao replied, "It's not that easy."
Apparently he had been released half a year ago and went to this mountain retreat.
One of Gao's colleagues, Li Heping, confirmed it was him, though he too could not get much more information from Gao either.
Perhaps some reporters are going to try to confirm his actual location, but in the meantime this ends the curious round about way the government has been dealing with Gao's case that raised international concerns.
It's strange why the government didn't explain where Gao was six months ago, and why he was allowed to go to this mountain retreat or was he forced there?
How long does Gao have to be there and will he return to his law practice in some capacity? Or has the government succeeded in shutting up one more dissenting voice?
There are more questions than answers. But at least we now know he is alive.